Guardians expect injured Aaron Civale to rejoin team in August

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CHICAGO — The Cleveland Guardians expect right-hander Aaron Civale to rejoin them in August after doctors confirmed he has a sprained ligament and inflammation in his pitching wrist, the team said.

Civale was examined this week by Drs. Thomas Graham and Jason Genin. The team said he is responding well to an anti-inflammatory injection and is expected to resume throwing this week. Cleveland will have a better idea of his return date as he goes through his rehab program.

“They didn’t find anything they didn’t expect to find, which is good,” manager Terry Francona said. “When they numbed it, he had really good range of motion and felt good. Then, they injected it in that spot right away.”

Civale was injured throwing a curveball against the Chicago White Sox on July 13. He pitched just one inning in Cleveland’s 2-1 loss at home.

Civale, who spent time earlier this season on the IL with a strained glute muscle, first felt something in his wrist after a July 2 start against the New York Yankees, and he underwent tests.

Last season, Civale was leading the AL in wins when a sprained right middle finger sidelined him for 2 1/2 months. He finished 12-5 with a 3.84 ERA in 21 starts. The 27-year-old right-hander is 2-5 with a 6.17 ERA in 12 starts this season.

The Guardians were second in the AL Central at 46-44 entering Friday’s series opener against the White Sox. They trailed Minnesota by two games and were one ahead of Chicago.

Shohei Ohtani agrees to $30 million deal for 2023 with Angels

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shohei Ohtani agreed to a $30 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels for the 2023 season in the two-way superstar’s final year of arbitration eligibility before free agency.

The Angels announced the deal, avoiding a potentially complicated arbitration case with the 2021 AL MVP.

Ohtani’s deal is fully guaranteed, with no other provisions. The contract is the largest ever given to an arbitration-eligible player, surpassing the $27 million given to Mookie Betts by the Boston Red Sox in January 2020, a month before he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Ohtani is having another incredible season at the plate and on the mound for the Angels, regularly accomplishing feats that haven’t occurred in the major leagues since Babe Ruth’s heyday. He is a strong contender for the AL MVP award again alongside the Yankees’ Aaron Judge, who has tied the AL home run record and is closing in on the batting Triple Crown.

Ohtani is batting .276 with 34 homers, 94 RBIs and a .888 OPS as the Halos’ designated hitter. He is 15-8 with a 2.35 ERA and 213 strikeouts as their ace on the mound, and opponents are batting only .207 against him.

The 28-year-old Ohtani still will be a free agent after the 2023 season, and his future could be tied to the immediate fortunes of the Angels, who will complete their seventh consecutive losing season next week. The Angels didn’t trade Ohtani at the deadline despite being out of the playoff race again, and Ohtani is wildly popular among the club’s fans.

Ohtani repeatedly has said winning will be an important factor in choosing his home beyond 2023, and Angels owner Arte Moreno is currently exploring a sale of the team.

Moreno’s leadership has been widely criticized during the Angels’ mostly miserable run of play since 2009, and a fresh start with deep-pocketed new owners could be the best chance to persuade Ohtani to stay with the franchise he joined in 2018 from Japan. Ohtani immediately won the AL Rookie of the Year award, and he rounded into unique form last season after recovering fully from Tommy John surgery.