Maddon: Ohtani unlikely to pitch again in '20
Angels manager Joe Maddon on Tuesday said he doesn't anticipate Shohei Ohtani pitching again this year. Ohtani has been cleared to serve as designated hitter without any restrictions, the manager said.
After feeling discomfort in his throwing arm after his start Sunday against the Astros, Ohtani had an MRI exam and was diagnosed on Monday with a Grade 1-2 strain of the flexor pronator mass and was shut down from throwing for four to six weeks.
“I'm not anticipating him pitching at all this year,” Maddon said. “In whatever kind of throwing program, it'll be very conservative. I don't have any projection on that other than he's not going to pitch this year.”
Ohtani, 26, was held out of the lineup against the Mariners on Tuesday as a precaution, but Maddon believes he’ll be back in there soon and will serve as the club’s primary DH. It’s similar to last season, when Ohtani didn’t pitch because he was coming off Tommy John surgery.
"From what I've been told so far, he should have no holdups with his hitting. Just today still a little bit sore, so we chose to not push him yet. I'll talk to him and see if he could play [Wednesday]. If not, I think the next day. So it's kind of a day-to-day thing, but we anticipate good results."
Maddon believes that Ohtani can return to two-way status in 2021, especially with a normal offseason of rest and a regular Spring Training.
“From what I've seen, I believe that he can,” Maddon said. “We just got to get past the arm maladies and figure that out. He's such a high-end arm and, of course, what he can do in the batter's box. It might get to the point where he may choose to want to do one thing over the other and just express that to us. I know he likes to hit. So as of right now in my mind's eye, he's still going to be able to do this.”
Ohtani has a 37.80 ERA this year, having allowed seven runs over 1 2/3 total innings in his two starts. He's also hitting .148/.179/.407 with two homers and seven RBIs in six games as the designated hitter.