Los Angeles – Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani is back in the American League club’s starting rotation and will pitch against the Oakland A’s on Sunday.
Ohtani missed his scheduled pitching start Friday because of a sore arm and manager Joe Maddon had considered shutting the Japanese star down for the season on the mound.
But Ohtani threw 30 pitches on Friday, and the Angels decided he isn’t done yet.
Ohtani has pitched 115⅓ innings this season while also playing almost every day as the Angels’ designated hitter.
He has struggled at the plate in the second half of the season, batting .200 with just seven homers in 44 games heading into Friday’s contest.
Ohtani underwent Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery in 2018 after making 10 pitching starts in his first Major League Baseball season.
He didn’t pitch at all in 2019, with his season as a hitter ending early because of knee surgery.
He returned to the mound in 2020 but was eventually shut down because of a right forearm injury.
This season Ohtani emerged as the best pitcher in the Angels’ starting rotation, with a dominant fastball and stellar command of an array of breaking pitches. In 21 starts, he has a 3.36 ERA, 136 strikeouts and a 9-2 record.
In August he had thrust himself into the American League Most Valuable Player conversation, notching his 40th home run of the season on Aug. 18.
The 27-year-old former Nippon-Ham Fighters star became the first left-handed batter in Angels history to reach 40 homers, surpassing Reggie Jackson’s previous lefty record of 39 from 1982.
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Los Angeles Angels, Shohei Ohtani
Source: The Japan Times