Ohtani cleared to start throwing off mound

November 26th, 2019

ANAHEIM -- has been cleared to start throwing off a mound after undergoing left knee surgery in mid-September, Angels general manager Billy Eppler said on Tuesday.

Ohtani, who underwent an operation to repair a bipartite patella in his left knee, now has three to four weeks left in his rehab from Tommy John surgery on Oct. 1, 2018. Ohtani was forced to halt his elbow rehab for roughly two months after deciding to undergo the knee surgery because it was bothering him when he was throwing off a mound in September.

Ohtani, the AL Rookie of the Year in 2018 as a two-way sensation, is aiming for a return to the mound in 2020. The 25-year-old served only as a designated hitter in 2019, hitting .286/.343/.505 with 18 homers, 20 doubles, five triples, 12 stolen bases and 62 RBIs in 106 games last season.

Ohtani is expected to pitch once a week and serve as the DH three to four times a week this season, but the Angels haven’t committed to how they’ll utilize Ohtani in the rotation until he finishes his rehab. Ohtani made 10 starts as a rookie in 2018, posting a 3.31 ERA with 63 strikeouts in 51 2/3 innings.

The Angels still haven’t announced if Ohtani will be ready to start the season as a pitcher, but he’s expected to have a normal offseason once he’s done with his elbow rehab.