Tommy John recommended in Shohei Ohtani heartbreaker

Oh, Noh-tani.

Shohei Ohtani has new damage to his ulnar collateral ligament, the Angels announced Wednesday, and doctors are recommending Tommy John surgery.

Ohtani underwent an MRI on his right, pitching elbow after making his brief return to the mound Sunday, when he lasted just 2 1/3 innings and was pulled as his velocity rapidly dropped. The 24-year-old wonder hadn’t pitched since June 6, being sidelined due to a Grade 2 UCL sprain. The Angels had hoped to avoid Tommy John surgery, and the Japanese Babe Ruth kept batting after a stint on the disabled list.

Opting for surgery now probably means he could return to pitching for the 2020 season. It is unclear if he would keep batting next season; the return timetables for hitters and pitchers recovering from the surgery are vastly different.

Ohtani’s first season in MLB figures to end with a 4-2 record and a 3.31 ERA in 10 starts on the mound, to go along with a .276 batting average with 16 home runs and 44 RBIs in 243 at-bats.

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