Jason Motte “felt good” after throwing from 60 feet

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Jason Motte played catch twice over the weekend, throwing from 60 feet on flat ground, and afterward the rehabbing Cardinals closer told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com that he “felt good.”

Motte and the Cardinals are trying to determine if he can avoid surgery to repair a torn elbow ligament. Previously the stated plan was to make a decision one way or another by May 1, but that may be put on hold for a bit to see if Motte can advance in his throwing program without any setbacks.

Mitchell Boggs struggled filling in for Motte, but Edward Mujica has done a nice job in the closer role since stepping in for Boggs, converting all four save chances without allowing a run.

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.