The Red Sox turned baseball’s fifth triple play of the season on Tuesday night against the Cardinals. The Cardinals threatened in the top of the fourth inning against Rick Porcello as Paul DeJong and Dexter Fowler hit consecutive singles. The slow-footed Yadier Molina followed up, unfortunately for his team, with a ground ball right to Rafael Devers at the third base bag. He got the force out, whipped to Dustin Pedroia at second base, who fired to Mitch Moreland to complete the 5-4-3 triple play.
The last time the Red Sox turned a triple play was on August 16, 2011 against the Rays, also in the fourth inning. Erik Bedard had allowed consecutive singles to Melvin Upton and Casey Kotchman before Sean Rodriguez grounded into a 5-4-3 triple play — Jed Lowrie to Pedroia to Adrian Gonzalez. The Cardinals were last victims of a triple play on May 9, 2015 against the Pirates. In the top of the second inning, Vance Worley walked Jhonny Peralta and gave up a double to Jason Heyward. Molina then lined out to second baseman Neil Walker in what became a 4-5-4 triple play.
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.