Ohtani throwing ... but with a towel
ANAHEIM -- Shohei Ohtani's return to the mound continues to progress smoothly.
Ohtani, who has not pitched since June 6 because of a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, has advanced to throwing from 120 feet "with effort," manager Mike Scioscia said. Ohtani was also spotted in the bullpen on Monday performing dry throws off the mound with a towel in his right hand.
It marked his first mound work since receiving stem-cell and platelet-rich plasma injections in his right elbow on June 7.
"There's still some long toss that he has to get after," Scioscia said. "He's made a lot of progress, no setbacks. He'll continue to be evaluated, but this is absolutely moving in the right direction. We're very confident in that."
Scioscia added that Ohtani is moving closer to throwing off the mound, though the Angels have not settled on a specific day yet. Ohtani is expected to perform some drills to reacquaint himself with the slope of the mound before being cleared to throw a bullpen. Barring any setbacks, Ohtani could potentially return to pitch in September.
Prior to the elbow injury, Ohtani went 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA and 61 strikeouts over 49 1/3 innings for the Angels. He spent a month on the disabled list before returning exclusively as a left-handed hitter on July 3. Ohtani, 24, is batting .271 with an .869 OPS, 11 home runs and 29 RBIs in 60 games this season.