Shohei Ohtani’s tough start to the shortened regular season just got worse
Ohtani returned to Los Angeles for an MRI this weekend, and the results aren’t as hoped. The young two-way player had a sky-high ERA near 37 through two starts this season, and an injury might’ve contributed to that ineffectiveness.
Per the Angels, Ohtani has been diagnosed with a grade 1-2 strain of the flexor pronator mass. He can be re-evaluated in six weeks, but it’s more than likely that Ohtani won’t pitch again this season. The good news, however, is that his timetable to return as a designated hitter is just day-to-day.
Shohei Ohtani’s injury-plagued career is catching up to him
Ohtani underwent Tommy John surgery in October of 2018, and recorded just five outs in his two starts this season. Considering how infrequent he’s pitched since late 2018, it’s fair to question just how reliable he can be as a two-way player moving forward. At the plate, Ohtani hit .310 (27 for 87) with five doubles, one triple and seven home runs over 24 games.
Joe Maddon is not without blame in this situation, as well. In just his second start since undergoing Tommy John surgery, Maddon allowed Ohtani to throw 42 pitches in the second inning, clearly overusing his young pitcher and putting him in jeopardy as well. Now, just days later, and Ohtani has suffered a setback. Surely, Angels fans will want some answers on Maddon’s end, especially given the fact that he’s supposed to be a calm, veteran manager.
Ohtani entered MLB as one of the most-coveted Japanese baseball players of all-time (minus Ichiro). Now, unable to pitch yet again, he’ll have to make a greater contribution at the dish instead.