Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels wunderkind, has been ruled out for the rest of the 2019 baseball season. He is set to have surgery on his left knee.
Shohei Ohtani’s season is over. He will undergo surgery tomorrow to address a bipartite patella in his left knee. The Angels say his recovery will take 8-12 weeks.— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) September 12, 2019
The decision comes after a second half in which Ohtani’s power has been sapped, and it has been pointed out that he’s not running hard on foul balls.
Shohei Ohtani made the final out of the 6th inning. His fly ball was caught this far foul (maybe 6 feet) and he didn't even run. pic.twitter.com/5t0DVlBTW4— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) September 11, 2019
This is not to say he hasn’t been trying his hardest. Ohtani has beaten out multiple infield singles recently, often reaching the coveted Statcast “elite” speed of 30 ft/sec.
There is a clear difference between Shohei Ohtani’s first half and second half, and now we may know the reason why.
(The knee operation can be seen as a good thing because it shows that Shohei is legitimate at the plate but in the second half only took a step back because of the injury. The alternative, of course, is that pitchers adjusted and he was regressing to his true talent level. This is probably not the case.)
Shohei Ohtani’s knee condition is “congenital,” per Billy Eppler. Once they operate, that issue should be behind him. He will continue his TJ rehab in December, and should be ready to pitch during spring training.— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) September 12, 2019
The Angels had considered having Shohei Ohtani finish his Tommy John progression before surgery (he’d felt discomfort since Feb.), but he was growing apprehensive on pressing on the knee as his throwing ramped up around 83-86 mph. They didn’t want to compromise his rehab.— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) September 12, 2019
Quite honestly, the fact that Ohtani’s knee has been bothering him since early 2019 shows his heart, dedication, and willingness to commit to this team. I love it.
Shohei Ohtani can resume “arm activation” in his Tommy John rehab approximately 2-3 weeks after surgery, per Billy Eppler. Plan is then to have him back on the mound potentially as soon as 10 weeks after his surgery.— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) September 12, 2019
And he still should be on pace to pitch early next season.
All’s well that end’s well, we can hope!