Angels DH and pitcher Shohei Ohtani underwent Tommy John surgery in September 2018. As a result, he didn’t pitch at all last year. Angels GM Billy Eppler said two months ago that the club was aiming for a mid-May return to pitching for Ohtani, but the entire MLB schedule was disrupted due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Nevertheless, Ohtani is closer to getting back in pitching shape. Per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway said that Ohtani has been long tossing from 180 feet, then shortening to 60 feet. Calloway said Ohtani should be throwing off a mound “soon.”
If there is a season, it likely won’t begin for at least another couple of months. Ohtani should be ready to go by then, whenever “then” ends up becoming.
In 2018, when Ohtani debuted in the majors and won the AL Rookie of the Year Award, he went 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA and a 63/22 K/BB ratio in 51 2/3 innings before succumbing to a Grade 2 UCL sprain in his right elbow. Last season, as a pure DH, he hit .286/.343/.505 with 18 home runs, 62 RBI, 51 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases across 425 plate appearances.
Phillies COVID testing results revealed no new positives for the fourth straight day, the team announced this morning. As a result, they will resume their schedule tonight against the Yankees.
It’ll be the first game for the Phillies since last Sunday’s game against the Marlins. The Miami outbreak prompted the Phillies’ season to be shut down, but the lack of positive tests beyond team staff that had more direct contact with the visiting Marlins is an encouraging sign. The Phillies COVID testing strongly suggests that cross-team infection from on-the-field activity is not a significant problem. This could bode well for, say, the Brewers, who have been idled a few days due to the outbreak emerging on their would-be opponents this past weekend, the St. Louis Cardinals.
All of this, of course, puts the Phillies well behind their usual schedule. They’ve played just three games and have had minimal baseball activity in the past eight days. Whether that shows up in the performances of Jake Arrieta and Aaron Nola, tonight and tomorrow night’s starters, respectively, will be worth watching.
All in all, though, the Phillies COVID testing results are good news. And folks, we could use some good news right now.
UPDATE: The Marlins are negative too: