Ohtani Receives Bad News; Homers Twice

Ohtani Receives Bad News; Homers Twice

On Wednesday afternoon, the Los Angeles Angels delivered some disappointing news about their two-way star Shohei Ohtani. On Wednesday night, Ohtani delivered his best offensive performance of the season in a Angels rout of the Texas Rangers.

The Angels announced that Ohtani has suffered new damage on the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, after making a start on Sunday. The Angels team doctors have recommended that Ohtani undergo Tommy John surgery in an effort to repair the ligament. The surgery would keep Ohtani out until the start of the 2020 season. Ohtani had his start cut short against the Astros, after he felt he should return to the mound.

” I feel like I’ll be fine to make my next start, but ultimately the decision’s not up to me; it’s up to the medical staff, the front office and the coaches. So I’m just going to take it day-by-day.”

His Choice on Future

Ohtani will have the final decision on whether or not to have the surgery, but the Angels believe that it is necessary and inevitable. Hours after receiving the news, Ohtani put on a show at the plate Wednesday night. The designated hitter went 4-4 with two long home runs and three runs batted in to lead the Angels past the Texas Rangers. Angels general manager said that the team plans to meet with Ohtani on Monday to discuss the surgery and his future with the team.

The Angels won the rights to sign Ohtani in the offseason after a long and competitive battle with other teams in Major League Baseball. One of the main reasons that Ohtani chose to play for the Angels was their promise to use him as a two-way player. Other teams knew about the elbow issues and were wanting to use Ohtani as strictly a designated hitter or an outfielder. The Angels will now have to decide to keep their promise, or convert him into just a hitter.

Ohtani was cleared to continue his role as designated hitter, and manager Mike Scioscia had him batting third on Wednesday night. He responded by reaching base all five times and scoring four runs to go along with his two long blasts. Scioscia did not say whether or not he would continue to use Ohtani in that role moving forward.

Ohtani initially felt stiffness in his pitching elbow during a June 6 start against the Kansas City Royals. The Angels tried stem-cell and platelet-rich plasma therapy on Ohtani’s elbow in an effort to avoid surgery. The Angels did not feel that surgery was needed at that time, and Ohtani began a rehab program in an effort to return to the team.

The hard-throwing right-hander made his return to the mound last Sunday in a start against the Houston Astros. Ohtani was only able to throw 49 pitches in that game, and his velocity dropped to the low 90’s by the end of his outing. The Angels scheduled another MRI where the new damage was revealed. Ohtani threw just 51 ⅔ innings this season and composed a 3.31 earned run average in those starts.

Huge Season for Ohtani as Rookie in MLB

Offensively Ohtani has continued to prove why almost every MLB team wanted his services. Ohtani has played in 82 games with the Angels this season and has a .287 batting average. He has hit 18 home runs and driven in 47 runs batted in while posting 2.3 WAR. Ohtani is on the short list of candidates to win the American League Rookie of the Year Award.

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