SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Bob Nightengale tells us who he thinks will nab home field advantage heading into the AL wild card game.
A torn ligament in his elbow will prevent Shohei Ohtani from pitching for the Los Angeles Angels next season. Fortunately, the two-way star will still be able to swing the bat.
The team announced Tuesday that Ohtani will have Tommy John surgery after the regular season ends to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
Ohtani was diagnosed with the torn UCL earlier this month and surgery was recommended, but because the injury doesn’t impact him when he hits, he’s continued to play regularly as the Angels’ DH.
The recovery time for pitchers who have Tommy John surgery is typically 14-18 months, putting his projected return to the mound around the start of the 2020 season.
However, Ohtani can still contribute with the bat, as he’s done all season – and will be able to in 2019.
Entering play on Tuesday, the AL rookie of the year candidate is hitting .280 with 21 home runs, 56 RBI, 55 runs scored and nine stolen bases in 346 plate appearances.
In 10 starts as a pitcher, he compiled a 4-2 record, 3.31 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 51⅔ innings.
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