The long-awaited return of Shohei Ohtani may be on the horizon as it has been reported by multiple news sources, that the 2018 Rookie of the Year could be back in Angel red on Tuesday as the Angels play in Detroit.
When Shohei Ohtani burst on the scene at the beginning of 2018 no one quite knew what to expect, especially after his terrible Spring Training last season. Ohtani came out at the start of 2018 and was the player that lived up to all the hype that had proceeded him.
Ohtani was an amazing pitcher until hurting his elbow in early June that would require Tommy John Surgery. However, Ohtani kept playing as a hitter throughout the rest of the season and did phenomenal. He ended the season with a .285 batting average with 22 homers and 61 RBIs with a .361 OBP.
Jeff Fletcher of the OC Register tweeted about the potential return of Ohtani and Griffin Canning making his second start Tuesday.
Remember all of these numbers were done in 326 at bats which is about half of what Ohtani would get as a full-time designated hitter. So if Ohtani was to play almost every day he could have finished with 35 or more home runs and close to 100 RBIs. He still did enough as a part-time DH and part-time pitcher to win the AL Rookie of the Year Award.
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Flash-forward to this season and the Angels have started out at 15-19 without Ohtani in the line-up. The Angels have been lacking offense most of the season and without Ohtani and Justin Upton in the line-up due to injuries it has made the offense sputter.
Now Ohtani will be returning as soon as Tuesday against Detroit. This hopefully will infuse the Angels offense and provide some protection for Mike Trout that he so desperately needs so that teams can’t walk him in any crucial situation.
The question is how will Ohtani hit after not playing in a live game since September last season. Ohtani could be just what the Angels need to get rolling. The Angels will be playing in Detroit, Baltimore, and Minnesota for nine games. With the Angels having a 4-10 record on the road Ohtani could be just what they need to turn it around.
Whenever Ohtani comes back whether it be Tuesday or later in the week it will be good for the Angel offense as well as the team’s morale.