Mike Scioscia sat down in his normal spot in the Angels dugout for his pre-game press conference and sent the media buzzing with the announcement that Shohei Ohtani opted for Tommy John surgery.
Shohei Ohtani will not itch again now until 2020 after opting for elbow surgery Tuesday afternoon. However Ohtani doesn’t seem to be worried about it too much as he has kept hitting and is a big reason why the Angels are still managing to win some games in September
Wednesday night Shohei Ohtani did it again hitting a solo home run in the eighth inning to break a 2-2 tie and send thee Angels to a three-game sweep of the Rangers with a 3-2 victory. Although many fans may be disappointed with the news Ohtani shows everyone how he can still make an impact in 2019 for the Angels.
So what made Shohei opt for surgery. “The team laid out various options for me and I felt like surgery like the best option for me,” said Ohtani through his interpreter Ippei Nakamura. Of course I’m disappointed to not be able to pitch next season, Fortunately I will still be able to hit next year.”
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The way Ohtani has hit this year that will be a blessing as well and since he wont be pitching he will be able to focus on improving and becoming a stronger hitter. Ohtani has hit 22 homers so far this season and driven in 59 runs with a .283 batting average. He has only batted 315 times. In 200 more at-bats he could probably have hit 10 to 12 more homers and driven in 30 more runs.
Mike Scioscia is optimistic for Ohtani in 2019 even with him not being able to pitch. “With Shohri’s decision to have surgery that will put him put from pitching in 2019,” Scioscia said. “Shohei showed the ability this year to keeping things separate when he put that batting helmet on. That will be his main focus next season.”
The Angels will use Ohtani for the rest of this season as their DH and maybe keep the Oakland A’sfrom gaining home-field advantage in their wild-card game against the New York Yankees. We will just have to wait and see.
A parting shot from Ohtani during his press conference when asked did he feel he proved that he can be an effective two-way player in the future.
:It was a very small sample size from a small season, but I felt I did okay,” Ohtani said. “I will just try to keep improving each year and get stronger next season so I can do well as a hitter.”
We will find out just how good of hitter Showtime will be next season.