UPDATE: Gurnick reports that Puig left the game with a mild right knee strain.
7:00 p.m. ET: According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig had to exit today’s game against the Rockies in the sixth inning with an apparent injury.
The early speculation is that Puig might have hurt his right knee diving back into first base on a pickoff throw. The 22-year-old stayed in the game and ran from first to third on a single from Adrian Gonzalez, but was in obvious pain after sliding into the base. He eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Hanley Ramirez, but didn’t come out to right field in the bottom of the inning.
Puig, who entered today’s action on a .458 (11-for-24) tear over his last six games, went 1-for-3 before exiting. He is batting .351/.411/.564 with 14 home runs, 32 RBI, and 10 stolen bases in 80 games since his call-up in June.
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.