Cardinals place closer Jason Motte on disabled list

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As expected the Cardinals have placed closer Jason Motte on the disabled list with a strained right elbow.

Motte complained of soreness after last Thursday’s game and there’s no timetable for his return, with the Cardinals set to use Mitchell Boggs as their fill-in closer.

Motte was fantastic last season, saving a league-leading 42 games with a 2.75 ERA in his first full season as a closer. Boggs can’t match Motte’s strikeout ability, but has been a very effective setup man for the past three seasons with a 3.08 ERA in 201 innings during that span.

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.