Two-way star Shohei Ohtani's season as a pitcher may already be over

Mike Oz
·2 min read

It looks like we’ll have to wait another year for the full Shohei Ohtani experience.

Ohtani, in his return from Tommy John surgery, has been diagnosed with a forearm/elbow injury that may effectively end his 2020 season as a pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels. Ohtani’s two-way abilities mean he’ll still be available to DH, but he won’t be able to throw for 4-6 weeks, which in this shortened MLB season would mean he’s missing more than half the season.

Potentially, Ohtani could return near the end of the season, but given his history of arm injuries, don’t be surprised if the Angels decide not to push him back to the mound. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, there’s quite a big difference between a Grade 1 and Grade 2 strain — with Grade 1 meaning it’s a slight tear and Grade 2 being more problematic

Ohtani’s return from Tommy John hasn’t been particularly good. He didn’t make it out of the first inning in his first start and his second start Sunday wasn’t much better. He was pulled in the second inning and needed an MRI after the game.

He’s totaled 1.2 innings in those two starts with an ERA of 37.80 — evidence that something isn’t right. As a batter, he’s hit two homers and driven in seven runs for the Angels. Last year, after being diagnosed with his elbow injury, Ohtani still was able to DH. He finished the season with 18 homers and 62 RBIs.

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 02:  Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts after giving up a bases loaded walk scoring Michael Brantley #23 of the Houston Astros in the second inning of the game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 2, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 02: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts after giving up a bases loaded walk scoring Michael Brantley #23 of the Houston Astros in the second inning of the game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 2, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

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