Stephen Strasburg is at his best following rare poor starts

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Rarely has Stephen Strasburg struggled in his brief but spectacular career, but when he does turn in a clunker the Nationals right-hander has done an amazing job bouncing back in his next start.

Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com crunched the numbers and found that Strasburg has allowed four or more earned runs just five times in 39 career starts. And in his five follow-up starts to those poor outings Strasburg is 4-0 with a 0.90 ERA.

That includes yesterday’s six shutout innings against the Marlins, which came after Strasburg allowed six runs in four innings versus the Phillies last week. With the win he improved to 12-5 with a 2.97 ERA and league-leading 160 strikeouts in 127 innings in his first full season back from Tommy John elbow surgery.

Report: Shohei Ohtani has sprained UCL in pitching elbow

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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.