Shohei Ohtani has certainly been one of the more fascinating stories from the 2018 season. The guy can seemingly do it all as he is electric on the mound as his fastball touches triple digits, launches balls into the stands as a DH, and is quite speedy on the basepaths as well. Even if it was never reasonable for him to remain that productive all year long, the game of baseball hasn’t seen this sort of performance from a single player in a long, long time.
Unfortunately, the injury bug has bitten him this year as well. Ohtani has had to miss some time on the mound with a blister issue recently, but at the very least he was still able to bat. However, his most recent injury is far more severe.
Shohei Ohtani will be placed on the disabled list with a grade 2 sprain of the UCL. He underwent a PRP and Stem Cell injection yesterday with Dr. Steve Yoon in Los Angeles. He will be re-evaluated in 3 weeks and we will update his plan of care at that time.— Angels (@Angels) June 8, 2018
Yep, you read that right....elbow trouble is currently plaguing Shohei and it could cost him at least the rest of the season if the non-surgical options the Angels are employing do not yield results. While there are certainly cases where problems with a pitcher’s UCL have not required Tommy John surgery, there are also plenty of cases where the surgery was ultimately necessary and that would put the timetable for his return at late 2019 at best.
This is certainly a situation that is going to be worth monitoring, especially given Ohtani’s growing legend as being a legitimate threat on both sides of the ball. It seems likely that we will not hear much about Ohtani’s recovery for at least a few weeks while the effectiveness of the PRP and stem cell injections are evaluated.
During the 2018 season (his first stateside), Ohtani has slashed .289/.372/.535 with six home runs in 129 plate appearances while also posting a 3.10 ERA and 3.24 FIP on the mound with 61 strikeouts and 20 walks in 49.1 innings.