The baseball world was instantly captivated by one of the most exciting prospects ever to come over from Japan in two-way star Shohei Ohtani. Upon debuting in 2018 for the Angels, Ohtani won AL Rookie of the Year honors while flexing his muscle as both a slugger and hurler.
Unfortunately, he underwent Tommy John surgery shortly after his rookie year, and despite still featuring for the Halos in 2019, he was limited to a designated hitter role.
Now, a timetable has officially been revealed for Ohtani's return to the MLB rubber. The Angels are targeting mid-May for the 25-year-old to start pitching again.
As a starting pitcher in 2018, Ohtani went 4-2 across 51.2 innings of work. He logged a 3.31 ERA, had an impressive 11 K/9 and maintained an effective 1.16 WHIP. Across two seasons at the plate, Ohtani has clubbed 40 home runs and driven in 123 runs while slashing .286/.351/.532.
While he's fully expected to be on the mound in 2020, he'll start the year off as the team's DH.
When fully healthy, Ohtani will likely headline an Angels rotation that also features the likes of Andrew Heaney, Dylan Bundy, Griffin Canning and Julio Teheran.
Angels fans should be eager to see their star right-hander back on the mound this year, as his small sample size of work in 2018 showcased his immense potential.