The LA Angels received good news on Wednesday: Shohei Ohtani and Griffin Canning continue their recovery as a possible return of the season grows nearer.
Jeff Fletcher wrote the pair were “ramping up intensity and volume, general manager Billy Eppler said via text on Wednesday.”
Ohtani has not thrown a pitch in a game since Sept. 2, 2018. He had Tommy John surgery performed in October of that year and his elbow has been on the mend since.
Ohtani, however, was able to get into 106 games as a batter last year, hitting .286/.343/.505 for the Angels. That season was cut short, too, when he underwent surgery to repair his left knee in September, with a 12-week recovery time expected.
The 25-year-old superstar from Japan would not have been available to start the season for the Angels had it begun in late March as scheduled. By April, however, he was seen as being at 80-85 percent with his recovery going well. Earlier this season, a return to the mound in mid-May was expected, so from that standpoint he’s right on time.
Ohtani had a 3.31 ERA in 51.2 innings in 2018 before the injury. He struck out 63.
Canning, a 24-year-old right-hander, was poised to enter his second season in the big leagues when bitten by the injury bug during spring training.
He was sent for an MRI in February following “feeling something” during a game in February. He also missed the last month of the 2019 season, so fearing the worst could be expected under those circumstances.
Canning had a 4.58 ERA across 17 starts last season, striking out 96 and walking 30 in 90.1 innings.
Canning received a “platelet-rich plasma injection” for the injury in March.
The most recent proposal, approved by MLB owners on Monday, plans for players to have a second “spring training” in June with the season starting in early July. The players have not yet agreed to it, as many issues will need to be settled, both health-related and money-related.