Yankees infielder Ramiro Pena has emergency appendectomy

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Matt Holliday and Adam Dunn have started a trend, as Yankees backup infielder Ramiro Pena has joined them in undergoing an emergency appendectomy in the middle of the season.

George King of the New York Post reports that Pena is expected to miss 4-6 weeks after having the surgery early this morning in Tampa Bay, but Dunn returned to the lineup after just six days and Holliday missed only nine days.

Obviously the White Sox and Cardinals had more motivation to rush middle-of-the-order hitters back than the Yankees will with a utility man, although New York is short-handed already with Alex Rodriguez on the disabled list.

Brandon Laird will be called up from Triple-A to replace Pena on the roster and figures to split time at third base with Eduardo Nunez.

Shohei Ohtani medically cleared to begin a throwing progression

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The Angels released a medical update on P/DH Shohei Ohtani Thursday evening. Ohtani was reevaluated by Dr. Steve Yoon at the Kerlan Jobe Institute. The right-hander’s sprained UCL showed improved healing and, as a result, he has been cleared to begin a throwing progression.

Ohtani, 24, was diagnosed with a Grade 2 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow after his June 6 start against the Royals and hasn’t pitched since, though he has been in the lineup as a hitter since July 3. It was initially believed he would undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. Then the thought was that Ohtani wouldn’t pitch again for the rest of the season, but this update suggests a possibility he could return to the mound before the season is over.

In nine starts, Ohtani put together a 3.10 ERA with a 61/20 K/BB ratio in 49 1/3 innings. As a hitter, he batted .283/.365/.522 with seven home runs and 22 RBI in 157 plate appearances.