The Athletics have placed reliever John Axford on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to April 2, with a strained right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports. Jesse Hahn has been recalled from Triple-A Nashville to take Axford’s spot on the roster. The timetable for Axford’s recovery is not yet known.
Axford didn’t appear in either of the Athletics’ first two games but did warm up at some point. The veteran right-hander pitched 7 2/3 innings in spring training, yielding three runs on 10 hits and five walks with three strikeouts.
The Athletics certainly have the bullpen depth to deal with Axford’s absence, as the bullpen includes Ryan Madson, Santiago Casilla, Sean Doolittle, Ryan Dull, and Liam Hendriks.
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.