After feeling discomfort in his throwing arm after Sunday's start against the Astros, the Angels' Shohei Ohtani was diagnosed with a grade 1-2 strain of the flexor pronator mass after undergoing an MRI exam on Monday. Ohtani will not be placed on the 10-day injured list, as he'll remain active for the club's upcoming series against the Mariners that begins on Tuesday.
"A general timetable for beginning a throwing progression following this injury is 4-6 weeks," Angels general manager Billy Eppler said in a statement. "He is traveling with the team to Seattle and his status as a DH is day to day."
Ohtani's status as a pitcher this season is now up in the air, as he appears likely to serve only as DH unless he can make a return late in the year. It's a setback for the Angels and Ohtani, but the news could've been worse if he suffered another ulnar collateral tear that required Tommy John surgery.
Ohtani struggled with his control again in his second start of the year on Sunday, but he showed better velocity until the last three fastballs of his outing in the second inning. Ohtani walked five and threw 48 pitches in the second. His fastball hit as high as 97.1 mph, but his final three fastballs clocked in at 89.6 mph, 89.1 mph and 89.7 mph, respectively.
Ohtani has a 37.80 ERA this year, as he gave up five runs without recording an out in his first start against the A's on July 26. He hadn't previously started in a Major League game since Sept. 2, 2018, after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He's also hitting .148/.179/.407 with two homers and seven RBIs in six games as the designated hitter.