July 20, 2018 / 3:21 AM / 2 months ago

MLB notebook: Ohtani cleared to resume throwing

Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani underwent a six-week checkup on the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow on Thursday and has been cleared to resume throwing, the team announced.

FILE PHOTO: Jul 13, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) reacts after reaching third base on a single by catcher Jose Briceno (not pictured) in the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

“Shohei Ohtani had his six week re-evaluation with Dr. Steve Yoon at the Kerlan Jobe Institute,” the team said in a release. “His ligament continues to show improved healing. He has been medically cleared to begin a throwing progression. We will update specifics regarding his progression and rehabilitation schedule at a more appropriate time.”

Ohtani, who pitches right-handed, went on the disabled list June 8 with a Grade 2 sprain of his right UCL. He returned to action on July 3, but only as a designated hitter. At the time of Ohtani’s reactivation, general manager Billy Eppler said it would still be three weeks before Ohtani would be re-evaluated with regard to his ability to pitch.

At the time, Eppler would not say whether or not Ohtani would pitch again this season, but he maintained the team’s optimism that Tommy John surgery — which would likely sideline Ohtani until 2020 — would not be needed.

—Closer Brad Hand was traded from the San Diego Padres to the Cleveland Indians.

The Indians also acquired submarining right-hander Adam Cimber, who posted a 3.17 ERA with 51 strikeouts in 48 1/3 innings as a rookie. The Padres received Cleveland’s top prospect, Francisco Mejia, in return.

Hand, 28, posted a 3.05 ERA and 24 saves over 44 1/3 innings pitched in 41 appearances for the Padres this season. An All-Star in 2017, Hand registered a career-low 2.16 ERA last season while saving 21 games. He is under contract for the next two seasons for a total of $13.5 million and has a team option for 2021.

—The Chicago Cubs placed closer Brandon Morrow on the 10-day disabled list prior to their game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The right-hander is dealing with biceps inflammation in his throwing arm. Morrow, who turns 34 on July 26, has a career-best 22 saves in 35 appearances this season. He also has a stellar 1.47 ERA, which would be his best career mark in a single season.

The Cubs have made a flurry of moves over the past few days by activating right-hander Anthony Bass off the disabled list, activating right-hander Carl Edwards Jr. from the paternity list, reinstating outfielder Albert Almora Jr. from the family emergency list and optioning infielder David Bote and left-hander Rob Zastryzny to Triple-A Iowa.

—Field Level Media

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