Some potentially bad news for the Braves: catcher Evan Gattis left last night’s game against the Phillies in the first inning with back spasms. He appeared to tweak something during his at-bat in the first inning and was replaced by Gerald Laird for the bottom half of the inning.
Gattis is listed as day-to-day. For what it’s worth, manager Fredi Gonzalez is optimistic:
“If he DLs, it’s going to be 15 days without him. And [head trainer Jeff Porter] doesn’t seem to think it’s going to be that long. So we’re not thinking about that move right now . . . he assured me that this could clear up in the next day or two.”
Of course Gonzalez is also optimistic that B.J. Upton is a leadoff hitter, so who knows.
Gattis is hitting .290/.342/.558 with 16 homers on the season.
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.