Joe Blanton is in The Best Shape of His Life

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When I was in Angels’ camp in Tempe a week ago Friday, I didn’t see Joe Blanton. I guess now we know why:

When Joe Blanton takes the mound for the first time in Angel Stadium with his new team, fans who have been oblivious to his career since he left the Phils may be a little surprised. Blanton, who signed with the Halos as a free agent in December, is about 30 pounds lighter than his normal 260.

He says he didn’t try to lose weight. “It just happened.” Tapeworms: is there no end to the good they can do?

(via Baseball Musings)

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.