Many Angel fans felt they were dealt a serious blow with the news that Shohei Ohtani, the Japanese rookie sensation, was out with an elbow issues in early June. Many have hoped he could come back to the Angels in limited capacity.
It looks as if Angel fans will get their wish with the news that Shohei Ohtani and the Angels are eyeballing a return to the team as at least a designated hitter in the next couple of weeks.
Ohtani is in line for a re-evaluation this coming Thursday, 6/28, in which he and the Angels organization are hoping he’ll be cleared by team medical staff to return to playing activities, at least as a hitter. On June 7th Ohtani went on the DL for a UCL Grade 2 sprain in his right elbow and received stem-cell/prp treatment, an issue the Angels were aware of upon signing the young athlete.
LA Angels manager Mike Scioscia was quoted as saying, “I do think he’ll swing the bat before he’s ready to pitch, but that’s just my feeling. We’ll wait for our medical staff to give us direction and determine what the next step is.” [quote by MLB.com writer Matt Kelly]
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There happened to be many fears regarding the Ohtani situation, especially during the immediate after-math of the news. Would he be out for the season? Would he return the same? At that point in time the Angels were still on the fence as to whether they would be competitors or not, standing at 4 games back June 6th. Many took the news to heart and felt the season rested on what Ohtani brought to the club.
At this point in time the Angels stand 12 games back within the division with a 41-39 record, and though Ohtani held an eye-popping .289/.372/.535 with 6 HR’s and 20 RBI’s throughout 34 games it’s going to be a massive uphill struggling to return the Angels to the form they began the season in.
Shohei Ohtani, if cleared, will be returning to a team featuring the always surging Mike Trout and star shortstop Andrelton Simmons in hopes of returning life to the limping lineup. The Angels have lost 12 games in the month of June and currently sit at 4th in the division. Offensively they’ve scored 10 runs in their last five games while allowing the opposition to score 23 runs in the same time span.