June 12, 2018 / 9:14 AM / 11 days ago

MLB notebook: Conflicting reports on Ohtani's prognosis

Los Angeles Angels rookie two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery and be sidelined until the 2020 season, according to a report Monday by ESPN’s Pedro Gomez.

Jun 3, 2018; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) rounds third off an a two-run double by third baseman Luis Valbuena (not pictured) during the second inning against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

However, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi tweeted later Monday that the Angels are “cautiously optimistic” Ohtani will be back in action by the end of the season, at least as a batter and possibly as a pitcher, too.

Ohtani was placed on the disabled list Friday with a Grade 2 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. There are three grades of UCL injuries, and the Angels are waiting to see if Ohtani definitely requires surgery.

The Angels originally said that Ohtani will be re-evaluated in three weeks. Ohtani, who pitches right-handed, underwent platelet-rich plasma and stem cell treatments on Thursday. The UCL injury was discovered during an MRI exam.

—The Boston Red Sox activated outfielder Mookie Betts from the 10-day disabled list.

Betts replaces first baseman Sam Travis, who was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket on the roster. Betts has been sidelined for 14 games by a left abdominal strain.

Betts missed five games as the result of the injury before he was placed on the DL. He was scratched from the lineup on May 27 after experiencing pain in his left side during pregame batting practice.

—The Baltimore Orioles activated left-handed closer Zach Britton from the 60-day disabled list, clearing the way for him to pitch for the first time since rupturing his right Achilles tendon in December.

Baltimore also moved outfielder Colby Rasmus (left hip flexor strain) from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL and placed right-hander Pedro Araujo (right elbow strain) on the 10-day DL.

Britton, 30, told reporters in February that he was targeting a May return. He posted a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves in 38 appearances last season, a year removed from consecutive All-Star campaigns in which he saved a combined 83 games while posting a 1.22 ERA.

—The Atlanta Braves’ ahead-of-schedule rebuild isn’t just working wonders in the NL East standings, it has the club dominating early All-Star Game balloting, as well.

In the first NL All-Star Game balloting update released Monday, the surprise of the NL, if not all of baseball, has a league-best three players with enough votes to start at their respective positions.

Leading the way is the biggest name the current NL East co-leader retained through the rebuild, first baseman Freddie Freeman. He leads all NL players with 633,342 votes. Atlanta outfielder Nick Markakis and second baseman Ozzie Albies also are first in voting at their positions.

—Field Level Media

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