Shohei Ohtani could be back soon and it would not be a moment too soon.
By David Rice
Everyone is talking about how anemic the Angels offense so far this season. The Angels are averaging 2.4 runs per game thus far and hitting a paltry .181 as a team. Until last night they had only 1 home run, but Mike Trout & Kole Calhoun went deep in an 11-4 loss to Texas.
Well help is on the way and the sooner it gets here the better. Shohei Ohtani better dust off his Superman cape and get out his shirt with the Red S on it before coming back as the Angels offense needs some serious help and one player, even Ohtani cannot fix the problem by himself.
The Angels have been without Ohtani due to his recovery from Tommy John surgery taking a little longer than first thought. However the timetable that was set in during Spring Training was targeting Ohtani for an early to mid-May return. However, Ohtani is now ahead of that timetable and could be back by the last week of April.
Who knows how well Ohtani will do at first when he comes back. He may be a little rusty. Ohtani burst on the scene in 2018 after struggling in Spring Training. However, once the lights of the regular season went on Ohtani was on fire.
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However, like I alluded to before Ohtani is not the savior, the Angels need a few players to step up, not named Trout. Justin Upton is another key cog, but he wont be back until probably early June. His return will also help the Angels offense as will Ohtani.
The sooner the better, because by the time Upton gets back if the Angels offense doesn’t improve, the Angels could be already buried in the playoff race. Guys like Zack Cozart, Kole Calhoun, Andrelton Simmons, and Albert Pujols need to get into a groove to help improve the Angels offense.
Another injury update is on Andrew Heaney. Heaney had a cortisone shot on Monday and will be reevaluated in the middle of next week and his earliest return would probably be in the middle of May. After the first start by Chris Stratton and Felix Pena it could not be too soon either.
Once situation to keep an eye on as well is Andrelton Simmons, who left Thursday night’s game with lower back stiffness. Simmons will be re-evaluated today. For now Zack Cozart will probably play short and David Fletcher will play third base. The Angels could call someone up from the minors such as Taylor Ward or Luis Rengifo that could help add depth if Simmons ends up being out for more than a few games.
All in all the Angels need to get it together soon offensively and the return of Shohei Ohtani could go a long way in helping this process.