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Report: Angels ‘cautiously optimistic’ Shohei Ohtani will play again this season

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This morning, we learned of a report from ESPN’s Pedro Gomez, which said that Angels pitcher/DH Shohei Ohtani was likely to undergo Tommy John surgery, causing him to miss the remainder of the 2018 season and all of the 2019 season. Things may not be so dire. Jon Morosi reports that the Angels are “cautiously optimistic” Ohtani will play again this season, at least as a hitter and possibly as a pitcher as well.

That is, obviously, great news if it holds up. Ohtani was tremendous both as a pitcher and as a hitter. He compiled a 3.10 ERA with a 61/20 K/BB ratio in 49 1/3 innings across nine starts. He also hit .289/.372/.535 with six home runs and 20 RBI in 129 plate appearances. The Angels are in contention in the AL West, entering Monday’s action 4.5 games behind the first-place Mariners and Astros.

The Angels signed Ohtani in December. He’s earning $545,000 this season plus a $2.3 million signing bonus. The Angels also had to pay a $20 million posting fee to the Nippon Ham Fighters of the Japanese Pacific League.