Brewers undecided on whether Shaun Marcum needs DL

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Shaun Marcum was scratched from last night’s start with an elbow injury, but the Brewers right-hander said today that “everybody feels confident the ligament is good to go” and there’s no structural damage.

That could mean Marcum will avoid the disabled list and make his next turn in the rotation, but Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the Brewers may opt to put him on the DL in order to add an extra pitcher.

Considering Marcum’s history of elbow problems the extra rest probably wouldn’t hurt either way and he spent time on the DL with an injury that “feels similar” back in 2010.

Tyler Thornburg made his big-league debut last night in Marcum’s place, serving up four homers on the way to allowing five runs in 5.1 innings against the Blue Jays.

Hideki Matsui thinks Shohei Otani should pitch and hit in MLB

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Yankees’ special advisor and former outfielder Hideki Matsui expects to help the club “convince or recruit” Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani, according to a report from MLB.com’s Deesha Thosar. The Yankees are currently viewed as the favorites to sign Otani, though there still figures to be plenty of competition for his services when he finally becomes eligible to enter Major League Baseball.

Matsui also told Thosar that while he hasn’t seen a player find success as a hybrid pitcher/slugger in the majors, he’s taken notice of Otani’s success in both areas. “He’s done well in Japan, so as a baseball fan I’m looking forward to how he’s going to do here in the Majors and in the U.S.,” Matsui said, later adding, “If [pitching and hitting is] something he wants to do, and the team wants it, then why not?”

Neither the Yankees nor any other suitor should be too concerned with Otani’s ability to translate his .332 batting average and 3.20 ERA to MLB — at least, not just yet. There are still a few roadblocks in his path to the major leagues, most notably the lack of approval from the Players Association. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the union doesn’t want to sign off on an agreement that would give the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee in exchange for Otani’s services. According to the posting system rules, Otani himself would be eligible to receive no more than a $4 million signing bonus.

The good news in all of this? The union agreed to reach a final decision by Monday, November 21, so there’s still a chance Major League Baseball will see the talented two-way player bring his unique skillset to the field in 2018.