Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani continues to work toward being 100 percent healthy come spring training. He's rehabbing after both 2018 Tommy John surgery and knee surgery this September. From the sounds of it, he's nearing the finish line.
The Angels provided the latest update Tuesday, telling reporters (Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com included) that Ohtani has started to throw off a mound and that he is three to four weeks away from completing his Tommy John surgery rehab. As such, without a major setback, we should expect Ohtani to have a clean bill of health come spring training in February.
For the Angels, having Ohtani back full-go is obviously a huge boost as they look to make the postseason for the first time since 2014. Should Ohtani make it to the season without injury, it seems as though the best course of action will be to have him start on the mound once a week (possibly just make him the Sunday starter?) and serve as the designated hitter three to four times a week when he's not pitching.
Ohtani, the AL Rookie of the Year in 2018, has already proven that he can be a star both ways.
On the mound, it is a small sample of 10 MLB starts, but he pitched to a 3.31 ERA with 63 strikeouts in 51 2/3 innings. His pitch mix is a high-90s fastball, high-80s splitter, low-80s slider along with the occasional curve and there's every reason to believe this is a dominant skill set as he works his way back to game shape.
In 792 plate appearances, Ohtani has hit .286/.351/.532 (135 OPS+) with 41 doubles, seven triples, 40 homers, 123 RBI, 110 runs and 22 steals. His power took a bit of a dip last season, but he was less than a year removed from Tommy John surgery. It's reasonable to expect an uptick in 2020 -- again, barring a setback.