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.