Indians officially release Jose Lopez

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As first reported by Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, the Indians released infielder Jose Lopez on Sunday after designating him for assignment early last week.

Lopez batted just .249/.272/.366 with 17 extra-base hits, 28 RBI, eight walks and 35 strikeouts in 224 plate appearances this season for Cleveland.

The 28-year-old Venezuelan slugged 25 homers and tallied 96 RBI across 622 plate appearances with the Mariners back in 2009 but has registered a hideous .236/.265/.352 slash line in 298 major-league games since.

Lopez will presumably try to latch on with a new team. He’s now played for four different ones.

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.