Los Angeles Angels righthanded pitcher and designated hitter Shohei Ohtani has been diagnosed with a strained flexor pronator mass in his right arm, the Angels announced today. Generally speaking, pitchers do not throw for four to six weeks after such a diagnosis. Given that the regular season ends in just under eight weeks, that would mean that Ohtani almost certainly would not be back on the mound in the regular season this year.
Ohtani, who has both pitched and been a designated hitter since coming to the Angels from Japan prior to the 2018 season, did not pitch at all in 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, though he did return after starting the season on the injured list as a DH, slashing .286/.343/.505 in 425 plate appearances. Ohtani made two appearances for the Angels in 2020, retiring no one while allowing three hits and three walks in his first start, and walking five batters in the second inning of his start yesterday before being pulled.
Ohtani is reportedly day-to-day as a hitter, and so will likely be available when the Rangers and Angels play this weekend. The Angels have also called up top outfield prospect Jo Adell, who we should expect to be in the lineup when the teams play this weekend.
The Angels’ rotation now has Andrew Heaney, Dylan Bundy, Matt Andriese and Griffin Canning for the time being. They are 3-7 and in last place to start the season, and while they have playoff aspirations, their rotation was always seen as a weak spot, and an area where they lacked depth.
The Angels, of course, are not alone in dealing with starting pitcher injuries. Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros and Corey Kluber of the Texas Rangers are also expected to miss the season, and Mike Soroka of the Atlanta Braves went down this evening with what appears to be a torn Achilles heel.