Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani will likely undergo the dreaded Tommy John surgery, effectively ending his 2018 season and forcing him to miss the entire 2019 season as well, according to an ESPN report this morning.
Ohtani, who’s currently pitching to a 3.10 ERA with 61 strikeouts in 49.1 IP, has a Grade 2 UCL sprain, and recently received platelet-rich plasma and stem cell injections, with the hope that he could prolong the need for surgery.
While the procedure does help, it is widely understood that this is by no means a permanent fix. The club announced that they will re-evaluate Ohtani in the next three weeks, and will make a final decision at that point in time.
If Ohtani decides not be to go for the surgery, the club could have him rehab with the injections and keep him off the mound. However, a Grade 2 UCL sprain can easily become a Grade 3 tear, in which case they would be forced to do the surgery.
While the Angels and Ohtani are trying to remain hopeful, the writing seems to be on the wall. Ohtani knows that if he wants to have a lengthy career in the MLB, Tommy John is the best option.
What will this mean for the Angels? To say it is a sad and disappointing situation would be an understatement. The Angels were hopeful of competing for a wildcard spot this season. They are in a tough division, having to contend with the defending world champion Houston Astros and the suddenly surging Seattle Mariners. Losing their top pitcher and also one of their better hitters is going to hurt those chances dramatically.
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- New York Post