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Ramirez ready for post-Tommy John rehab

MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- Angels right-hander JC Ramirez has rejoined the team after undergoing Tommy John surgery on April 17. Ramirez is out for the season after being diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament following on his April 7 start against the A's.

Ramirez missed the final six weeks of last season with a partially torn UCL. At the time, the tear was not severe enough for the Angels to recommend Tommy John surgery, Ramirez opted to receive stem-cell therapy in an attempt to heal the damaged ligament.

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ANAHEIM -- Angels right-hander JC Ramirez has rejoined the team after undergoing Tommy John surgery on April 17. Ramirez is out for the season after being diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament following on his April 7 start against the A's.

Ramirez missed the final six weeks of last season with a partially torn UCL. At the time, the tear was not severe enough for the Angels to recommend Tommy John surgery, Ramirez opted to receive stem-cell therapy in an attempt to heal the damaged ligament.

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However, the benefits of avoiding surgery proved negligible in the end -- Ramirez made just one start this season before his fateful one against the Athletics, an outing in which he was pulled after just two innings when he began to feel tightness in his right forearm.

"They showed me the difference [in the tear] between last year and this year," Ramirez said. "It was way worse. It was a lot more of a tear than before."

Ramirez said he was sad and frustrated after learning that he needed surgery, especially after feeling great about his health in Spring Training and the beginning of the season. He went on to talk about the mental tolls the surgery had on him.

"It was tough," Ramirez said. "That week and a half was really tough for me.

"I just couldn't have it out of my head. I brought my mom, fiancée just to come back to the point where I am stable, mentally stable. Now it's over. When I take this cast off and start doing my rehab, I'll try to have those 12 months be as fast as they can."

Ramirez spent his first three seasons in the Majors exclusively as a reliever before the Angels shifted him to their starting rotation at the beginning of last season. Before he hurt his elbow, Ramirez logged a 4.15 ERA over a career-high 147 1/3 innings -- nearly double what he had thrown the previous season. Still, Ramirez said he wasn't sure whether the sharp increase in workload had contributed to his elbow injury.

"I don't know," Ramirez said. "It could be, but I don't know because I felt good towards the [end] of the season in 2017. I don't think it was the innings. Before the surgery, I thought maybe I didn't prepare myself better. Maybe next time I will do it better to be healthy for the rest of my career."

Ramirez is due to take the cast off his right arm on Monday and begin his rehabilitation process from there. In the meantime, expect him to be around his teammates, cheering them on.

"I need to be here," Ramirez said. "I'm happy here. It's like my second family."

Video: SF@LAA: Ohtani picks up two singles against Giants

Ohtani vs. Tanaka?
Shohei Ohtani batted fifth and served as the designated hitter for Friday's series opener against the Yankees, but manager Mike Scioscia was coy as to whether Ohtani would start Saturday against countryman Masahiro Tanaka.

"We'll see about tomorrow," Scioscia said. "He's DH'ing tonight. We'll see what our lineup is tomorrow when we get there."

Ohtani faced Tanaka in 2013, when he was a rookie for the Nippon Ham Fighters and Tanaka was the ace of the Tohoku Rakuten Eagles.

Ohtani finished 0-for-11 with six strikeouts, one walk and one hit by pitch against Tanaka, who went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA and .943 WHIP over 212 innings that season. The following year, Tanaka joined the Yankees.

Scioscia did reveal that Ohtani will make his fifth start on the mound Tuesday against the Orioles. Ohtani pitched against the Astros last Tuesday, when he reached 101 mph and gave up four runs over 5 1/3 innings in a no-decision. The Angels are 3-1 in games Ohtani has started this season.

Worth noting
• Reliever Blake Wood resumed throwing Friday for the first time since landing on the disabled list with a right elbow impingement on Monday. The Angels are hopeful Wood will only require the minimum 10 days to recover.

Avery Yang is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim.

Los Angeles Angels, JC Ramirez