Altavilla (elbow) played catch prior to Saturday's game against the Angels, the Associated Press reports. The recovering reliever remains weeks away from a return, but the fact he was able to pick up a baseball again shortly into the second half is reason for cautious optimism that he'll eventually be able to contribute before the 2019 campaign wraps up. There were concerns Altavilla might require Tommy John surgery when he initially suffered his injury in a July 5 appearance, but a subsequent MRI revealed his ulnar collateral ligament was free of any damage. Altavilla is presumably still weeks away from a minor-league rehab assignment.
The MRI that Altavilla (elbow) underwent Sunday revealed no damage to his ulnar collateral ligament, meaning he'll avoid season-ending Tommy John surgery, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. While he contends with a strained flexor mass in his right elbow, Altavilla will require at least a month or two of rehab, so the 26-year-old could be a shutdown candidate if he fails to show meaningful improvement by the end of August. That said, the fact that he'll at least steer clear of Tommy John surgery and the year-and-a-half recovery timeline that typically accompanies the procedure is a positive development for the right-hander. Injury and ineffectiveness has limited Altavilla to just seven appearances out of the big-league bullpen in 2019.
Altavilla was placed on the 10-day injured list Saturday with a potential UCL injury in his right elbow, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. Altavilla felt something in his elbow while pitching Friday and is set to undergo an MRI to determine the specifics of the injury. The early indication of a UCL issue could put the 26-year-old's season in doubt, but there won't be a timeline for his return until the MRI results are announced.
Altavilla was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on Friday. Altavilla recently moved from Double-A Arkansas to Triple-A and now makes his way back to the majors. The 26-year-old allowed three runs over two-thirds of an inning earlier this season and should serve in a low-leverage role out of the bullpen.
Altavilla was optioned to Double-A Arkansas on Monday. Altavilla made just one appearance with the big club before being shipped back to the minors, allowing three earned runs on four walks and a hit while recording just one out in that outing. Austin Adams was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma in a corresponding move.