MLB will test expanded instant replay in Arizona Fall League

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MLB announced that expanded instant replay will be tested for the first time during game action next week in the Arizona Fall League:

New review procedures for expanded instant replay will be game-tested during play at the Arizona Fall League (AFL) in five games that will be televised live on MLB Network from Tuesday, November 5 through Saturday, November 9. …

AFL Umpires will be assigned to the games, which will be observed by select MLB officials and Major League Umpires. Plays in AFL games will be called and challenged under the protocols of the newly designed instant replay plan that is now under consideration.

Should make for riveting television!

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.