Brett Anderson progressing from strained right oblique

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A’s left-hander Brett Anderson has already been ruled out for the rest of the regular season with a strained right oblique. But it’s looking like he could be available if Oakland advances to the playoffs.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Anderson played catch from a distance of 120 feet Saturday afternoon at O.co Coliseum. It was his third consecutive day of long toss, and he told reporters though a team spokesperson that the workout went as well as he was hoping it would.

Anderson is expected to throw a bullpen session Monday. That would put him in line to start the American League Wild Card game on Friday, though a more realistic timetable has him returning for a potential ALDS.

The 24-year-old posted a 2.57 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 25/7 K/BB ratio in 35 innings this summer after returning from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery. He owns a 3.57 career ERA and 1.25 career WHIP.

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.