Daisuke Matsuzaka’s injury “consistent with UCL sprain”

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Daisuke Matsuzaka was placed on the disabled list yesterday with an elbow injury and today the Red Sox announced that an MRI exam revealed “elbow tightness consistent with a UCL sprain and flexor mass strain.”

Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports that Matsuzaka will be re-examined again in two weeks, but UCL sprains often end up requiring Tommy John elbow surgery that would knock him out for 12-18 months.

For now there’s no reason to assume that Matsuzaka will need to go under the knife–and the Red Sox indicated to Speier that they’re relieved to have caught the problem relatively early–but he won’t be rejoining the rotation any time soon.

Rockies expect Seunghwan Oh back in 2019

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Rockies reliever Seunghwan Oh recently said to the Yonhap News Agency that he wanted to return to South Korea to finish out his career. He has one year and $2.5 million remaining. His 2019 club option became guaranteed when he reached 70 appearances in the 2018 regular season. It sounded like Oh didn’t want to pitch for the Rockies next season. Oh said, “I am a bit exhausted after spending five seasons in Japan and the United States. I feel like I want to return to the KBO while I still have the energy to help the team and pitch in front of home fans. I can’t make this decision alone. I’ll have to speak with my agency about the next season.”

Rockies GM Jeff Bridich has a different sense of the situation, per Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Bridich said, “From what we have been told, it was much ado about nothing regarding Oh. His comments to the Korean media were not specifically about 2019. It was more about ending his career there. Our understanding is that he has every intention of honoring his current contract.”

Oh, 36, pitched 68 1/3 innings this past season between the Blue Jays (47 innings) and Rockies (21 1/3). In aggregate, he posted a 2.63 ERA with a 79/17 K/BB ratio in 68 1/3 innings. The Rockies have the bulk of their bullpen returning next year, save for Adam Ottavino who is a free agent.