Indians’ right-hander Cody Anderson is slated for Tommy John surgery, the team confirmed on Sunday. Anderson sustained a UCL sprain in his right elbow several weeks ago and elected to undergo the surgery after a second diagnosis by Dr. Keith Meister also revealed a mild flexor strain (via MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian).
Club manager Terry Francona called the decision “mature,” noting that postponing treatment could aggravate the injury and lengthen the right-hander’s recovery process. Anderson pitched through an entire season of arm discomfort in 2016 and underwent arthroscopic debridement on his right elbow during the offseason. With Tommy John surgery, he’s expected to miss the entire 2017 season and will likely return sometime in 2018.
Anderson, 26, completed his second campaign with the Indians in 2016. He bounced between the rotation and bullpen, putting up an abysmal 6.68 ERA that was made somewhat more palatable by his 1.9 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 60 2/3 innings. Although he wasn’t a lock for the Indians’ starting rotation in 2017, he gave the club some depth and showed promise as a potential long relief option.
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.