Toronto first baseman Edwin Encarnacion is headed to the disabled list with a strained quadriceps muscle, which actually qualifies as relatively good news considering how bad his injury appeared to be when he was helped off the field Saturday.
Unfortunately it still means Encarnacion will miss the All-Star game after being an easy choice for a reserve spot by manager John Farrell. No word yet on who’ll replace him on the American League roster, but to replace Encarnacion on their roster the Blue Jays have called up Nolan Reimold, whom they claimed off waivers from the Orioles yesterday.
It’ll be impossible to replace Encarnacion’s bat. Not only has he hit .277 with 26 homers and a .959 OPS in 88 games this season to rank among the league’s top five in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, total bases, homers, and RBIs, he’s been one of the best power hitters in baseball dating back to 2012.
Reimold was once a top prospect, but injuries have derailed his career and the Orioles let the 30-year-old go for nothing rather than using him as a part-time bench player.
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.