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Jake Marisnick expected to miss six to eight weeks with fractured thumb

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Astros outfielder Jake Marisnick fractured his right thumb sliding into second base in Wednesday night’s game against the Angels and is expected to miss the next six to eight weeks after undergoing surgery, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.

Marisnick, 26, has shared center field this season with George Springer and Cameron Maybin, so he has come to the plate only 259 times. He’s been effective, however, batting .243/.319/.496 with 16 home runs, 35 RBI, 50 runs scored, and nine stolen bases while playing above-average defense.

Cameron Maybin should see an increase in playing time in center as Springer has also been sharing time in right field with Josh Reddick.

Shohei Ohtani medically cleared to begin 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.