The news is surprisingly good for Yadier Molina.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the All-Star catcher woke up with no stiffness on Sunday morning after making an early exit from Saturday’s 5-4 victory over the Cubs.
“I feel a lot better, way better,” Molina told Goold. “It’s spasms still a little bit, but moving around I’m much better. Each day, each second, it will get better.”
Molina appeared to tweak his back and hip while ducking out of the way of a high-and-tight Carlos Marmol fastball on Saturday. He is not in the starting lineup for Sunday’s series finale at Wrigley Field but may be a go on Monday night against the Astros.
The 30-year-old is batting .319/.376/.503 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI in 130 games played this season.
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.