Chris Sale likely to be activated this week

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White Sox ace Chris Sale struck out 11 batters over four scoreless innings in a rehab start Friday night at Triple-A Charlotte and then threw a 20-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday afternoon. If he wakes up Wednesday with no abnormal soreness, the lefty could be activated from the disabled list during this weekend’s four-game series against the Yankees.

“He threw free and easy enough to be able to be one of those (starters in that four-game set),” White Sox manager Robin Ventura told Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago on Tuesday. “How early, it’s too early to say. Seeing how he feels going through tonight and tomorrow, and we’ll make a decision based on that.”

Sale has been on the disabled list since April 18 with a flexor muscle strain in his pitching elbow.

The 25-year-old had a 2.30 ERA in four starts before suffering the elbow injury and boasts an outstanding 2.93 ERA (146 ERA+) with 558 strikeouts through his first 528 innings at the major league level.

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.