Los Angeles Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani underwent Tommy John surgery Monday, the team said. And it was a success.
Angels’ GM Billy Eppler said Dr. Neal ElAttrache “is pleased with what he saw” and is confident about Ohtani’s recovery process.
Shohei Ohtani had successful Tommy John surgery today. Angels GM Billy Eppler says that Dr. Neal ElAttrache "is pleased with what he saw and feels confident in the recovery process."
— Greg Beacham (@gregbeacham) October 1, 2018
From what it sounds like, Ohtani’s initial plans of returning to hit in 2019 will be feasible.
Ohtani hit .310 with seven home runs and 18 RBI during the month of September. He would finish with a .564 slugging percentage on the season, tying him for sixth among players with at leasst 350 plate appearances.
A September to remember for these sluggers!
— Angels (@Angels) October 2, 2018
The 24-year-old had been dealing with UCL damage since early June. However, he would return to pitch September 2 — a start lasting only 2 1/3 innings. He would finish with a 4-2 record on the mound to go along with a 3.31 ERA and 63 strikeouts across 10 starts.
LA’s two-way phenom has known since September 5 that the possibility of Tommy John was likely. It wasn’t until 20 days later that the 24-year-old made the decision, though. Ultimately, he gave up pitching for the 2019 season. Before surgery, Ohtani remained positive about his situation. It’s a unique one, as he’s able to return to the field as designated hitter in 2019, rather than as a pitcher.
“Normal players — players that only pitch or hit — wouldn’t be able to play at all next season,” Ohtani says. “But fortunately I have the luxury of being able to play as a hitter next season, so I’m just trying to take positive stuff out of that and try to help the team in as many games as possible as a hitter.”
Not the year he wished to have — a year of injury, a year ending under the knife. Regardless, he will return next season but won’t be available to pitch until 2020, Eppler said. As of now, no timeline has been set for his return.
Eppler said Ohtani’s first season “was something I’ve never seen before, at least at the major league level … It is something I will always remember.”