Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani was finally back on the mound Wednesday — but don’t expect his actual pitching comeback to begin until 2020.
Ohtani threw 40 pitches off a mound at an estimated 50-percent intensity, 10 of which were delivered to a catcher in a squatting position, Wednesday at Angel Stadium. But he will not be back as a pitcher during 2019, according to Angels manager Brad Ausmus.
“No chance,” Ausmus said Wednesday, making sure that what has been common knowledge remains that way.
It was Ohtani’s first time working off a mound since undergoing Tommy John surgery on Oct. 1. Ausmus said two weeks ago that it was possible but not probable that Ohtani would throw from a mound before the All-Star break.
Ohtani needed surgery on his right elbow, but has been back in the lineup this season as a designated hitter. He has spent the last two months playing almost every day at DH, compiling a .277 average with nine home runs and 31 RBIs through 42 games going into Wednesday’s contest against the Cincinnati Reds.
On June 13, he became the first Japanese-born player to hit for the cycle in the major leagues. He accomplished the feat on the road against the Tampa Bay Rays as he homered in the first inning, doubled in the third, tripled in the fifth and singled in the seventh.
Ohtani, 24, was selected the American League Rookie of the Year in 2018. He went 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA in 10 starts on the mound, and batted .285 with a .361 on-base percentage, a .564 slugging percentage, 22 homers and 61 RBIs in 326 at-bats.
–Field Level Media