Shohei Ohtani’s electric year is likely over.
According to sources, Ohtani is most likely to undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his season and putting him out until the 2020 season.
“Everything I’m hearing is that the reality is, he probably will need Tommy John surgery,” @pedrogomezESPN reports grim news for Shohei Ohtani and @Angels just now on @sportscenter. “The earliest we might see him, should he have TJ surgery, would be the 2020 season.”
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) June 11, 2018
This is sad news, not only for Ohtani, but for the league. Ohtani brought a new enthusiasm for the game that hadn’t been seen in decades. Trying to become the first legitimite two-way star in almost a century, Ohtani was well on his way. He held a record of 4-1 and 3.10 ERA with 61 strikeouts in just 49 innings, while hitting .289 with six homers and 20 RBI in 129 plate appearances as a part-time DH.
But late last week, Ohtani was diagnosed with a Grade 2 UCL strain. The Angels shut him down and Ohtani underwent platelet-rich plasma and stem cell injections, hoping the treatment would bypass the surgery. The team was to evaluate him three weeks, so there’s still a chance he may not go under the knife.
If Ohtani does elect to have surgery, he has time on his side.
Ohtani, who will turn 24 next month, will have the benefit of his youth to help him come back just as strong as ever. With other notable pitchers coming back strong and performing at a high-level, see Stephen Strasburg, Ohtani should feel some comfort that he still has a great career still ahead.
No official word has been released by the team as of yet, so there’s still a chance that he won’t need surgery, but all other reports of this story show it as unlikely.