The 2019 edition of Sho-time will be slightly delayed.
Los Angeles Angels general manager Billy Eppler revealed Thursday that two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, will not be ready to play Opening Day, according to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.
Despite Thursday’s news, Eppler sounded optimistic about Ohtani’s progression during his recovery, and said that a follow-up appointment with surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache went “very well.” The 24-year-old will soon resume strength training and will take his first swings since the surgery in a few weeks’ time.
Ohtani won’t pitch in 2019 due to the surgery, but he’s expected to return as a designated hitter during the upcoming season. Until he’s ready to go, one of Albert Pujols and Justin Bour will fill the Angels’ designated hitter slot.
The 2018 AL Rookie of the Year slashed .285/.361/.564 with 22 homers and 10 steals in 367 plate appearances last season, while also posting a 3.31 ERA and averaging 11 strikeouts per nine innings over 10 starts on the mound.
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