Shohei Ohtani activated to DH, in the lineup tonight

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Shoehei Ohtani’s elbow is still not good enough to pitch. It will be decided soon if and when he’s going to have Tommy John surgery at some point, but it is good enough to hit, and the Angels have decided that Ohtani as a one-way threat is better than no threat at all.  He’s been activated and he will DH against the Mariners in tonight’s game.

Ohtani, 23, has been on the disabled list since June 8 with a Grade 2 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. When he was shelved he was batting .289/.372/.535 with six home runs and 20 RBI, and the Angels could definitely use his production.

My suspicion, however, is that his time as a DH will be limited, lasting only as long as the Angels believe they have a shot at contention. If he does need Tommy John surgery for pitching, after all, the Angels will want to do it sooner rather than later to maximize his recovery time, meaning that at bats as a DH in games that don’t matter will be of limited utility. At the moment they’re 11.5 games back of the Astros for first place in the west and 11 games behind the Mariners for the second Wild Card slot.