The Los Angeles Angels activated two-way star Shohei Ohtani from the 10-day disabled list and penciled him into the starting lineup as the designated hitter, batting sixth, against the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
Ohtani has been on the disabled list since June 8 with a Grade 2 sprain of his right ulnar collateral ligament. The Angels cleared Ohtani to resume hitting last week, though general manager Billy Eppler said it would still be three weeks before Ohtani will be re-evaluated with regard to his ability to pitch again this season.
Eppler and manager Mike Scioscia have each said multiple times that the team is optimistic about Ohtani’s chances of recovering without Tommy John surgery, though an ESPN report in early June said Ohtani would “probably” need surgery.
Ohtani, who turns 24 on Thursday, is 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA in nine starts as a pitcher this season and has struck out 61 batters in 49 1/3 innings. He also is batting .289 with six home runs and 20 RBIs in 34 games as a designated hitter.
—Houston Astros catcher Brian McCann will undergo surgery on his ailing right knee, manager A.J. Hinch told reporters.
McCann is expected to miss four to six weeks, according to published reports. The team placed him on the disabled list and recalled catcher Tim Federowicz from Triple-A Fresno. Max Stassi will handle most of the catching duties while McCann is sidelined. McCann, 34, is batting just .206 with five homers and 17 RBIs this season.
Houston also activated right-hander Joe Smith (elbow) from the DL and optioned first baseman AJ Reed to Fresno. Smith is 2-1 with a 5.49 ERA in 23 games.
—The Seattle Mariners signed left-hander Wade LeBlanc to a one-year contract extension through the 2019 season.
The deal includes club options for 2020, 2021 and 2022. The Mariners signed LeBlanc to a one-year major league deal in March worth $650,000.
LeBlanc, 33, has a 3.38 ERA in 16 games (11 starts) with the Mariners this season. The veteran is in his second stint with Seattle, also pitching for the team in 2016, and has a 4.29 ERA in 192 games (90 starts) across his 10-year major league career.
—Field Level Media