As announced last week, Angels P/DH Shohei Ohtani underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on Monday, Maria Torres of the Los Angeles Times reports. Dr. Neal ElAttrache performed the surgery and was encouraged by what he saw, according to GM Billy Eppler.
If Ohtani were a full-time pitcher, he would miss all of the 2019 season. However, the Angels are confident Ohtani will be able to contribute as a DH throughout the year, then return to pitching in 2020.
Ohtani, 24, finished his first season in the majors batting .285/.361/.564 with 22 home runs and 61 RBI in 367 plate appearance. As a pitcher, he went 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA and a 63/22 K/BB ratio in 51 2/3 innings across 10 starts.
The Indians have designated outfielder Carlos Gonzalez for assignment. This comes after Gonzalez batted a mere .210/.282/.276 over 117 plate appearances in Cleveland. That came after he had to settle for a minor league contract with the Indians in mid-March.
A few years ago Gonzalez was a superstar, winning three Gold Gloves, two Silver Slugger Awards, making the All-Star team three times and coming in third in the MVP balloting once upon a time. That was then, however. His most recent good season came in 2016, when he hit .298/.350/.505 with 25 homers and drove in 100. In 2017 and 2018 he combined to hit .232/.269/.334. Between his falloff in production and the fact that his big numbers of the past were heavily supported by playing at Coors Field, it should not be shocking that he couldn’t make it work in Cleveland.
If he wants to continue his career, he’ll no doubt have to take a minor league gig someplace. Otherwise, this could be the end of the line.