Getty Images

Video: Adam Jones robs Manny Machado of a stunning home run attempt

13 Comments

Team USA pulled ahead 6-3 over the Dominican Republic on Saturday night to clinch their spot in next week’s World Baseball Classic semifinals. Amid the glitz of a game-winning Giancarlo Stanton moonshot and the glam of Andrew McCutchen’s two-run double in the eighth inning was a spectacular defensive play by the Orioles’ Adam Jones.

In the seventh inning, with Team USA leading 4-2, fellow Oriole and Dominican Republic third baseman Manny Machado worked a 2-1 count and sent a Tyler Clippard fastball hurtling toward the perimeter of right field. Jones engineered a perfect leap to net the ball, robbing Machado of a badly-needed home run and preserving a two-run lead for the U.S. Machado took the moment in stride, tipping his cap to his teammate as he jogged back to the dugout.

Jones was among those surprised by the play. Via FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal:

I’m still kind of in shock that I even got to that ball,” he said. “I mean, off the bat I’m just like, ‘This ball’s hit really far, so just keep going, keep going.’

The Dominican Republic didn’t have to wait long for their next opportunity. In the next at-bat, Robinson Cano lifted a change-up from Clippard over the left field fence, nearly getting robbed on another ambitious leap from left fielder Christian Yelich before it landed safely in the stands. Still, it wasn’t quite enough to close the gap between the teams, and a two-run rally in the ninth clinched the victory — and a place in the semifinals — for Team USA.

Report: Shohei Ohtani has sprained UCL in pitching elbow

Joe Scarnici/Getty Images
16 Comments

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.