Dodgers, Twins, Reds interested in Skip Schumaker

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General manager John Mozeliak has made no secret about the Cardinals shopping Skip Schumaker and Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the Dodgers, Twins, and possibly the Reds are among the teams interested.

St. Louis has scaled back Schumaker’s playing time in recent years, giving him 400 plate appearances in 2011 and 304 plate appearances in 2012, but he’s versatile defensively and always gets on base at a decent clip.

At age 33 he’s owed $1.5 million in 2013, so he’d be affordable as a part-time player or even a pure bench bat. Los Angeles seems like the frontrunners because a) they’re trying to acquire literally every player in the world, and b) new Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire worked with Schumaker in St. Louis and is said to have a good relationship with him.

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.