Shohei Ohtani to throw off mound ‘soon’

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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.

Gallegos agrees to 2-year, $11M contract with Cardinals

Atlanta Braves v St. Louis Cardinals
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ST. LOUIS – Reliever Giovanny Gallegos and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a two-year, $11 million contract, a deal that includes a club option for 2025 and escalators that could make it worth $20.5 million over three seasons.

The 31-year-old right-hander is 3-5 with a 2.91 ERA and 14 saves in 20 chances this season. He has 72 strikeouts and 15 walks in 58 2/3 innings.

“I feel so happy,” Gallegos said before the Cardinals played the Pirates in Pittsburgh. “I don’t have the word for exactly how I’m feeling.”

He was obtained from the Yankees in July 2018 along with left-hander Chasen Shreve in the trade that sent first baseman Luke Voit to New York. Gallegos is 14-15 with a 3.02 ERA and 34 saves in six major league seasons.

Gallegos gets a $500,000 signing bonus and salaries of $4.5 million next year and $5.5 million in 2024. St. Louis has a $6.5 million team option for 2025 with a $500,000 buyout.

His 2025 option price can increase by up to $3.5 million for games finished in 2024: $500,000 each for 20-25 and 26-30 and 31-35, and $1 million apiece for 36-40 and 41 or more.

He would get $250,000 for winning the Rivera/Hoffman reliever of the year award, $50,000 for All-Star selection and World Series MVP and $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP.

Gallegos has a $2.41 million salary this year.

He was eligible for salary arbitration and is potentially eligible for free agency after the 2024 season.