A.J. Pierzynski didn’t start Sunday, but it didn’t stop him from hitting his 21st homer as the White Sox beat the Angels 4-2.
Pinch-hitting for Tyler Flowers, Pierzynski hit a tie-breaking two-run homer off Jason Isringhausen in the bottom of the seventh. It was his fifth straight game with a homer, matching a White Sox record.
Seven White Sox have homered in five straight games, including Frank Thomas twice. Paul Konerko was the last to do it last season.
Pierzynski’s 21 homers are three more than his career high from 2005, his first season in Chicago. He’s gotten there in just 311 at-bats. Between 2010 and ’11, he had 17 homers in 938 at-bats.
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.