Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion hasn’t played since July 5 due to a right quadriceps strain and now his absence appears likely to stretch into August.
According to John Lott of the National Post, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said this morning Encarnacion suffered “a minor setback” while swinging a bat yesterday in Florida. While a return previously appeared possible within the next few days, there’s now no set timetable for his return. Since he has almost missed a month at this point, the Blue Jays might prefer to have him play a minor league rehab game or two before coming off the disabled list.
Encarnacion, 31, is batting .277/.368/.591 with 26 home runs and 70 RBI over 88 games this season. The Blue Jays are 7-8 since he hit the shelf.
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.