Cory Gearrin could be headed for Tommy John surgery

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The Braves already lost starters Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy to Tommy John surgery this spring and it now looks like it will claim one of their relievers.

Cory Gearrin left Tuesday’s Grapefruit League game with a right elbow injury and Braves general manager Frank Wren told David O’Brien of the Altanta Journal-Constitution this morning that tests showed “ligament involvement.” In other words, damage to the unlar collateral ligament. He’s scheduled to receive a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews next week, but season-ending Tommy John surgery is a real possibility.

Gearrin, 27, had a 3.77 ERA and 23/16 K/BB ratio over 31 innings with the Braves last season. He was worked heavily prior to a demotion around midseason and missed most of the second half with a shoulder injury.

Shohei Ohtani no longer facing Masahiro Tanaka on Sunday at Yankee Stadium

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Shohei Ohtani has essentially become the Angels’ designated Sunday starting pitcher, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced Thursday morning that the 23-year-old two-way Japanese star will be skipped in the rotation this weekend at Yankee Stadium for “workload management” purposes.

Ohtani is fine to continue hitting, so there’s no sense of any physical ailment.

This decision will rob us — and the Japanese media — of a showdown between Ohtani and countrymate Masahiro Tanaka. And for that we are rather devastated, but you can understand the Angels’ concerns about overuse.

Ohtani has registered a 3.35 ERA, 1.066 WHIP, and 52/14 K/BB ratio through his first 40 1/3 innings (seven starts) as a major league pitcher and he’s slashing .308/.364/.582 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 26 games as a part-time DH.