Angels RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani hasn't pitched since June 4 because of a torn UCL in this throwing elbow. Obviously, that's an injury that typically ends with Tommy John surgery, but the Angels and Ohtani opted for stem cell and PRP injections in hopes of avoiding such a major procedure. On that front, there's good news:
Shohei Ohtani underwent an MRI this morning, which showed improvement. He will begin a hitting progression immediately. He will be evaluated in three weeks.— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) June 28, 2018
It's of course still possible that Ohtani winds up requiring reconstructive surgery, which would sideline him for upwards of a calendar year, but he's cleared an important early hurdle. While Ohtani has no clear time-table for throwing the ball again, he'll begin facing live pitching as a hitter next week, according to GM Billy Eppler.
This season Ohtani, who turns 25 on July 5, has pitched to a 3.10 ERA in nine starts with a 3.05 K/BB ratio. As DH between starts, he's put up a batting line of .289/.373/.535 (150 OPS+) with six home runs in 34 games. Obviously, the Angels will miss his work on the mound, but the idea of getting back an impact hitter such as Ohtani is huge for the L.A. offense.
So far, so good from the standpoint of the Angels and their prized rookie.