Shohei Ohtani injury update: Angels DH/P won’t be ready for Opening Day, GM says

first_imgShohei Ohtani’s recovery from Tommy John surgery will cost him time as a hitter, too.Angels general manager Billy Eppler told reporters Thursday that the pitcher/DH will not be in ready for Opening Day. He declined to say how long Ohtani might be out. Eppler noted that Ohtani’s need to do rehab exercises designed for pitchers affects his buildup to swinging a bat.PHOTOS: Timeline of Ohtani’s rookie season “One of the things that we were mindful of is not introducing him to two new things in the same week,” Eppler said, per “The easiest way to frame that is if he’s going to hit off a tee, that would come one week, but perhaps if he was going to move back in his throwing progression, that happens in a different week. It wouldn’t simultaneously happen, and each event is its own level. We’re going level to level, so that’s why it’s hard to put a timeline.”Ohtani, 24, showed last season as a rookie that he could handle pitching and hitting at the major league level when healthy. He slugged 22 home runs and produced a .285/.361/.564 slash line over 367 plate appearances, and he posted a 3.31 ERA and averaged 11.0 strikeouts per nine innings in 10 games (all starts) on the mound.He pitched only once after June 6 while he tried to put off surgery. That decision allowed him to keep contributing on offense. He was voted American League Rookie of the Year by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.last_img

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