Shohei Ohtani hits the disabled list with a right UCL strain

<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/teams/laa" data-ylk="slk:Los Angeles Angels">Los Angeles Angels</a> starting pitcher <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/players/10835/" data-ylk="slk:Shohei Ohtani">Shohei Ohtani</a> throws during the second inning of a baseball game against the <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/teams/det" data-ylk="slk:Detroit Tigers">Detroit Tigers</a>, Wednesday, May 30, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani throws during the second inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Wednesday, May 30, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

There is no good news to be found for fans of Shohei Ohtani or the Los Angeles Angels. Ohtani has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a grade 2 strain of his right ulnar collateral ligament, which just happens to be found in his pitching elbow.

Ohtani left his start on Wednesday with a finger blister on his pitching hand, but this is clearly way beyond that. When the Angels announced Ohtani’s trip to the DL on Friday, they also gave more details on his current treatment plan.


Back in December, after Ohtani had signed with the Angels, Yahoo Sports’ own Jeff Passan reported that Ohtani had a grade 1 UCL sprain, which the Angels were aware of. Ohtani had received a platelet-rich plasma injection in October to relieve the pain in his elbow, and a doctor in Tokyo had diagnosed him with the grade 1 sprain in late November.

A grade 2 sprain is more severe than a grade 1, which is why the treatment plan is a lot more cautious now. With the grade 1 sprain, the damage is minimal and was located deep within his UCL. That’s why he was able to resume a normal throwing program with rest and the PRP injection. But a grade 2 sprain is concerning, because it means the damage to his ligament has gotten worse, and could lead to Tommy John surgery, the three most fearful words a pitcher can hear.

On the mound, Ohtani has a 3.10 ERA and 61 strikeouts in nine starts this season. At the plate, he’s hit .289/.372/.535 with six home runs in 34 games.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at lizroscher@yahoo.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @lizroscher

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