Angels' Shohei Ohtani targeting mid-May return to mound after Tommy John surgery

Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani will serve as the club's primary designated hitter to begin the 2020 season, and the team hopes he's back on the mound by mid May. Ohtani, 25, underwent successful Tommy John surgery in October of 2018 and he has completed his required rehab, but the Angels will be slow in easing him back into a starting pitching role.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler told The Athletic's Fabian Ardaya they're targeting a mid-May return to the mound for Ohtani. 

Ohtani did not pitch in 2019, but continued to DH for the Angels. His season was cut short after the two-way star elected to undergo surgery in September to address an issue in his left knee. The 2018 AL Rookie of the Year appeared in 106 games as DH in his second year in the majors, finishing with a .286/.343/.505 slash line along with 18 home runs, 12 stolen bases and 62 RBI.

Without Ohtani, the Angels rotation will likely consist of right-hander Julio Teheran, left-hander Andrew Heaney, right-handers Dylan Bundy and Griffin Canning along with lefty Patrick Sandoval to start the season.

Teheran, 29, signed a one-year, $9 million contract with the Angels this past December after his option wasn't picked up by the Atlanta Braves. Bundy, 27, was another pitching acquisition this offseason, joining the Angels via a trade with the Baltimore Orioles.

The Angels lost out on the top free agent pitcher available this offseason, when Gerrit Cole decided to sign with the New York Yankees for a record-breaking $324 million deal. They did, however, sign third baseman Anthony Rendon to a seven-year, $245 million deal.

Katherine Acquavella joined CBS Sports in 2018. Her work has appeared in Yankees Magazine and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's Memories and Dreams magazine. She is a graduate of St. John's... Full Bio

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