Mat Latos cleared to begin rehab assignment

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Mat Latos, who hasn’t thrown a pitch for the Reds this season because of a spring training knee injury followed by a flexor mass strain, is scheduled to begin a minor-league rehab assignment Sunday at Triple-A.

Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that Latos will throw 50-60 pitches for Louisville, which suggests he’ll likely make at least 2-3 total rehab starts before potentially coming off the disabled list.

Latos initially hoped to return in mid-May, but now early June looks like the best-case scenario. He injured his arm on April 11 while doing a throwing program as part of the rehab for his knee injury, but was previously one of the most durable pitchers in baseball with 31 or more starts in each of the past four seasons (and a 3.27 ERA over that span).

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.