Angels P/DH Shohei Ohtani underwent an MRI earlier today and learned that he sustained new damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The Angels recommended Tommy John surgery, but Ohtani hasn’t made a decision on that yet.
Ohtani was in Wednesday night’s lineup just hours after the diagnosis. Injured elbow and all, Ohtani drilled his 17th home run of the year. The blast came on a first-pitch fastball from Austin Bibens-Dirkx in the top of the fifth inning, bolstering the Angels’ lead to 6-0.
Ohtani entered the night batting .276/.355/.547 44 RBI, 41 runs scored, and six stolen bases in 274 plate appearances.
Even if Ohtani undergoes Tommy John surgery, there is a chance he could return at some point next year and serve solely as a designated hitter.
Update: Ohtani homered again. After working the count to 3-1 against Eddie Butler in the top of the ninth, Ohtani blasted a change-up to right-center, plating two runs to bolster the Angels’ lead to to 9-2. He has two home runs on the night the Angels suggested he needs Tommy John surgery.
The Buffalo Blue Jays? Is that a thing? Maybe.
The Toronto Blue Jays are, officially, set to begin their season at Rogers Centre in Toronto on July 29. Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News, however, reports that they are looking at alternatives:
Multiple sources confirm to The Buffalo News that the Bisons’ parent club has finally reached out to Rich Baseball Operations in the last couple of days to examine the possibility of Toronto’s home schedule being played in Buffalo this summer.
This report of a potential for the Buffalo Blue Jays to make their debut comes a couple of days after the strict restrictions on movement for Jays players — they are reportedly required to stick to the Rogers Centre and the connecting hotel or face harsh punishment — met with at least some backlash. The restrictions are inevitable, however, given that Canada is requiring a 14-day quarantine for people traveling into the country. Since the Jays will be playing all road games in the United States, there is little choice for them but to be restricted to their hotel and the ballpark after arriving back in the country after playing games in the states.
As Harrington notes, Buffalo is not an ideal option given the less-than-major-league-level lighting and clubhouse space present in the Triple-A park, so it would not be ideal. Like everyone else these days, however, the Buffalo Blue Jays — er, I’m sorry, the Toronto Blue Jays — have little choice but to scramble.