We heard confirmation yesterday that Terry Francona is indeed a candidate for the Indians manager job and is expected interview in the near future. Nick Camino of WTAM 1100 in Cleveland has the latest update on the situation.
There’s some question about whether the Indians will offer Francona enough money to leave his broadcasting job at ESPN and there’s also the matter of managing a rebuilding team without the big budget of the Red Sox. However, Francona spent the 2001 season as a special assistant to team president Mark Shapiro, who was the GM at the time, so there’s some history here. There’s also only 30 of these jobs to go around and fortunes in the American League Central can change pretty quickly.
Interim manager Sandy Alomar, Jr. is the only other confirmed candidate for the permanent gig. Many consider him the favorite for the job and he’d certainly come cheaper as a first-time skipper.
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.