The Yankees were hoping to get catcher Francisco Cervelli back from a fractured right hand shortly after the All-Star break, but that won’t happen now.
According to the Associated Press, Cervelli will be shut down for the next two weeks after an MRI exam revealed a stress reaction in his right elbow. A stress reaction is the precursor to a stress fracture, so the Yankees aren’t going to take any chances. Joe Girardi doesn’t expect him to return until sometime in August.
Cervelli, 27, was batting .269/.377/.500 with three home runs and eight RBI in 17 games prior to breaking his hand when he was hit by a foul tip on April 26. The Yankees have relied on a combination of Chris Stewart and Austin Romine behind the plate during his absence.
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.