Shohei Ohtani has been throwing two bullpen sessions per week

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One of the (very pale) silver linings of no baseball is that guys who otherwise missed action due to injuries have had extra time to recover and rehabilitate without it costing them games. Games that aren’t being played, I’ll grant, so it’s not like it makes up for it or anything, but just go with me here and at least try to accept a mild positive.

One guy who is taking advantage of the down time is Angels’ two-way threat Shohei Ohtani, who underwent Tommy John surgery in September 2018 and, as a result, didn’t pitch at all last year. He was supposed to remain limited to DH duties in the early 2020 season, with a tentative return to the mound in May. Baseball won’t be returning in May, but Ohtani is apparently still on pace. Yesterday Angels’ GM Billy Eppler said in an interview on MLB Network Radio that Ohtani has been throwing “roughly” two bullpen sessions per week.

Eppler said that Ohtani’s work has been “nothing super intense,” and that he’s throwing 35-50 pitches per session at “probably 80-85 percent” effort. He’s almost ready to face hitters. At least if there were hitters around to face. I guess that’s what cardboard cutouts are for.

Either way: when the Angels do play games again, it seems like they’ll have their two-way threat back to full two-way status.