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Chase Anderson to miss 4-6 weeks with left oblique strain

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Brewers’ right-hander Chase Anderson is slated for a four- to six-week absence, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reported on Saturday. Anderson was diagnosed with a left oblique strain on Wednesday after striking out swinging against the Reds’ Luis Castillo. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Thursday, but is facing a longer recovery process after consulting with the club’s medical staff and undergoing an MRI on Friday.

Anderson, 29, was working on a career-best pitching line prior to the injury. He crafted a 2.89 ERA, 2.7 BB/9 and 8.5 SO/9 through 90 1/3 innings and held a 6-2 record in 16 starts for the Brewers. It was a welcome break from the 4.00+ ERAs of his previous three seasons, and one which might not have been possible without the newly-developed curveball and cutter in his pitch repertoire. This will be his first significant stay on the disabled list since 2015, when he missed 19 days with right triceps inflammation.

With Anderson out, the Brewers recalled right-handed reliever Jorge López from Double-A Biloxi, who will help keep the bullpen fresh while they seek a temporary fix for the rotation. Further reports from McCalvy suggest that manager Craig Counsell might switch up replacement pitchers from start to start until Anderson’s return, and he already appears to have several viable options in relievers Paolo Espiño and Josh Hader. It’s shaping up to be an interesting month for the club, which entered Saturday just two games ahead of the second-place Cubs and will need to stay sharp in order to keep their No. 1 status in the NL Central.

Report: Shohei Ohtani has sprained UCL in pitching elbow

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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.