Here’s the latest injury news from around the baseball world…
- The Blue Jays placed southpaw J.P. Howell on the 10-day DL with a sore shoulder, with righty Dominic Leone recalled from Triple-A to take Howell’s place on the roster. (Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi was among those to report the news.) Signed to a one-year, $3MM deal in the offseason, Howell has a 54.00 ERA over one-third of an inning in his brief Jays tenure, thanks to an ugly outing on Friday that saw him allow two runs without recording an out. Howell underwent labrum surgery in 2010 but his shoulder hasn’t had any issues since; the durable reliever has averaged 64 games per season from 2012-16. With Howell sidelined, Aaron Loup is the only left-hander in the Toronto bullpen. [Updated Blue Jays roster at Roster Resource]
- Adrian Beltre is eligible to return from the 10-day DL today but the Rangers have decided against activating the star third baseman, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. Beltre has been out of action due to a right calf strain and isn’t quite ready to play, though he has participated in batting practice and some running drills. Joey Gallo has been filling in at third in Beltre’s absence.
- Orioles outfielder Joey Rickard is headed to the 10-day DL due to a sprained left middle finger, manager Buck Showalter told MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko and other reporters. Rickard suffered the injury sliding into second base yesterday. The O’s had a ready-made replacement for Rickard on the 25-man roster, as Wade Miley was activated from the 10-day DL for his scheduled start this afternoon against the Yankees. There was some question over how Baltimore would find a 25-man roster spot for Miley upon his return, and according to Showalter, Rickard wouldn’t have been optioned had he been healthy. With Rickard out, Trey Mancini and Craig Gentry will be the right-handed hitting sides of Baltimore’s corner outfield platoons, with Hyun Soo Kim and Seth Smith providing the lefty bats. [Updated Orioles roster at Roster Resource]
- Showalter also told media that Chris Johnson suffered a broken bone in his forearm after being hit by a pitch during a Triple-A game yesterday. Johnson is expected to miss six to eight weeks. The Orioles signed Johnson to a minor league deal this winter, and then released and re-signed the veteran to a fresh contract at the end of Spring Training. The opt-out dates within Johnson’s contract (if any) aren’t known, though this lengthy absence could likely impact his decision about staying in Baltimore’s organization.
- In notable international injury news, Shohei Otani will miss approximately six weeks due to a strain in his left thigh muscle, The Associated Press reports. Otani suffered the injury trying to beat out an infield single, and as the AP piece notes, “the injury will add further debate to Otani’s insistence on batting as well as pitching.” The two-way star is both Japan’s best pitcher and a very promising hitter, posting a 1.004 OPS with 22 homers over 382 PA last season for the Nippon Ham Fighters and is off to a blistering start in his first eight games this season. (Otani has yet to pitch in 2017.) Otani’s professional future is the subject of wide interest on both sides of the Pacific, as the 22-year-old is reportedly planning to come to the Major League Baseball in 2018.