June 14, 2019 / 1:40 AM / a month ago

MLB notebook: Ohtani 'getting close' to mound work

Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani continues to progress in his rehab from Tommy John surgery, and he could throw from a mound before the All-Star break.

Jun 13, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) works out prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

“He’s getting close,” manager Brad Ausmus said before the Angels played the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Thursday night. “I don’t know the exact date ... but I would say weeks, assuming everything goes well.”

Ohtani underwent surgery on his right elbow Oct. 1, 2018. Back in the lineup as a designated hitter, Ohtani entered play Thursday with a .256 batting average, and he belted his eighth home run of the season in the series opener at Tampa Bay.

Ausmus said getting Ohtani on the mound prior to the All-Star break isn’t probable, “but it’s possible.”

—The Los Angeles Dodgers placed shortstop Corey Seager on the 10-day injured list as expected, two days after he came away with a left hamstring strain in a game against the Angels.

There is no timetable on Seager’s return but the injury has been downgraded from a more severe Grade 2 strain to somewhere between a Grade 1 and Grade 2 strain, MLB.com reported.

After a slow start to the season following hip and elbow surgeries that cost him almost all of last year, Seager was starting to find his groove. He was batting .278 with eight home runs and 38 RBIs in 66 games this season, but was 15-for-30 with six doubles over his past seven games.

—New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, who has been on the injured list since April 21, is poised to begin a rehab assignment this weekend, manager Aaron Boone said.

Judge, coming back from a strained left oblique, could join rehabbing Giancarlo Stanton when Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre plays a three-game set at Durham, beginning Friday. Judge “probably” would be used as a designated hitter this weekend, Boone told WFAN.

Stanton, who homered three times in two games for Class-A Tampa this week, is expected to play Friday through Sunday for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before being evaluated. Boone suggested Stanton could be activated Tuesday from the injured list if all goes well, with Judge needing more time on his rehab assignment.

—Red Sox legend David Ortiz remained in guarded condition in the surgical intensive care unit at a Boston hospital, his wife, Tiffany, said in a statement released by the team.

“He continues to heal and make progress. David will continue to recover in the ICU and future updates on his condition will be provided when necessary,” she said.

Ortiz is hospitalized at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was admitted Monday night.

—The Yankees placed first baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales on the 10-day injured list because of a strained left calf and added two players to the active roster.

With left-hander Stephen Tarpley sent to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday night, the Yankees recalled outfielder Mike Tauchman and left-hander Nestor Cortes Jr. from Triple-A in advance of their game against the Chicago White Sox.

Morales, 35, who was acquired from the Oakland A’s on May 14, is batting .194 with two home runs and 12 RBIs this season. In 19 games with the Yankees, he is batting just .177 with one home run and five RBIs.

—The Toronto Blue Jays acquired pitcher Nick Kingham from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for cash.

The Pirates had designated Kingham for assignment on Saturday.

Kingham, 27, was 1-1 with a 9.87 ERA in 14 appearances (four starts) for the Pirates this season. The right-hander made his major league debut with Pittsburgh last season, when he went 5-7 with a 5.21 ERA in 18 appearances (15 starts).

—The Minnesota Twins recalled right-hander Fernando Romero and optioned right-hander Ryan Eades to Triple-A Rochester.

Romero, 24, has a 5.63 ERA over seven appearances with the Twins this season, last pitching in the major leagues on May 10. He did not give up an earned run over the five major league outings just before he was sent to Rochester.

Eades, 27, delivered two scoreless outings (3 2/3 innings) to start his major league career. He went 1 2/3 innings Wednesday night against the Seattle Mariners.

—Field Level Media

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