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Brewers reliever Jeremy Jeffress to make his first career start tonight

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The Brewers have had to do some shuffling with their rotation lately, and today would be a day for a spot start. Rather than call someone up, Craig Counsell is going with a bullpen game. The first man out of the bullpen today: Jeremy Jeffress.

Jeffress has pitched in 263 major league games, all in relief. He last started back in 2011, when he was at Double-A. He’ll be on a short pitch count for a starter tonight — probably 50ish — but it’ll be a stretch for him. It’ll be interesting to see how he does.

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.