MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch spoke to Joe Girardi and he said that, to him at least, it sounds like both Rafael Soriano and David Robertson will be getting save opportunities in Mariano Rivera’s absence.
I figured that it would automatically fall to Robertson because is clearly the better pitcher. But really, if the lack of a formal title means that Girardi will use Robertson when he is needed most — which could be the eighth inning obviously — that may be better.
Still, don’t hold your breath for any kind of flexible, old-school relief ace deployment here. Managers just don’t seem to have those kinds of cajones these days. It’s just so unconventional, and the first time the second best pitcher loses a game in the ninth, you know Girardi would be raked over the coals.
The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.
Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”
Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.
Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.