Griffin Canning
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Griffin Canning to receive ‘biological injection’ in elbow, will be re-evaluated in 3-4 weeks

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The Angels announced that starter Griffin Canning is getting a “biological injection” in his ailing elbow and will be re-evaluated in 3-4 weeks’ time. Canning was recently diagnosed with both UCL and joint issues in his pitching elbow.

The phrasing of the announcement is interesting. The word “biological” generally leads me in two different directions with this sort of injury. Many baseball players have been treated with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections for a variety of issues in recent years, but the Angels have also used stem cell injections to try to treat UCL woes.

Andrew Heaney, Garrett Richards and Shohei Ohtani all got stem cell treatments for their elbows. All three also eventually wound up getting Tommy John surgery. I’m not willing to go as far as the LA Times article did in condemning the treatments as useless, seeing as a sample size of three is rather small. They’re also not the only players who have ever been treated with stem cells. CC Sabathia, for instance, got a stem cell injection for his bad knee.

Regardless of what the treatment is or isn’t, it’s a positive sign that Canning’s injury wasn’t deemed dire enough to immediately merit surgery. Canning isn’t going to be ready for Opening Day either way, but if the injection works he may be able to pitch at some point this season. Goodness knows that the Angels’ rotation needs all hands on deck, even after the team signed both Dylan Bundy and Julio Teheran this winter.

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Yankees place Aaron Judge (strained calf) on IL

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — Yankees star Aaron Judge was placed on the injured list with a right calf strain before Friday night’s game against Boston and manager Aaron Boone is optimistic the outfielder will not miss significant time.

The move was retroactive to Wednesday and Boone described the strain as mild after an MRI revealed the injury. To replace Judge on the roster, Thairo Estrada was recalled from the Yankees’ alternate site in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Judge began Friday leading the majors with nine homers and tied with Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon for the major league lead with 20 RBIs.

“It’s something that I think he really wants to try and work through here and kind of wants to be out here and feels like it’s a day-to-day thing which it may very well be, but I just think obviously it goes without saying how important a player Aaron is to us,” Boone said.

Boone had said last weekend’s series on the artificial turf in Tampa Bay took its toll on the 6-foot-7 outfielder.

Judge joined Giancarlo Stanton as the second Yankees slugger to land on the injured list this. Stanton was placed on the IL with a strained hamstring after getting hurt in the second game of last Saturday’s doubleheader.

“We’ve lost two MVP-caliber players,” Boone said. “Obviously that is a blow, especially two guys that playing well as they are right now.”

Judge was pulled for a pinch hitter during Tuesday night’s win over Atlanta and didn’t play Wednesday. The Yankees were off Thursday.

The 28-year-old All-Star missed time during July’s training camp because of a stiff neck.

The 2017 AL Rookie of the Year hit 27 homers in each of the last two seasons, both of them interrupted by injuries. His right wrist was broken when he was hit by a pitch in 2018 and he went on the injured list for two months last year with a left oblique strain.

Judge was diagnosed with a broken rib in March and would not have been ready for the season opener if the season began as scheduled on March 26.