According to Pedro Gomez of ESPN, rookie phenom Shohei Ohtani will reportedly undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. Gomez also reported that the repairing of his elbow could lead to him missing all of the 2019 season as well.
This is terrible news for the MLB. First of all, Ohtani has already become a star in the sport, because of his ability to both hit and pitch, but with the injury his marketability shoots way down. Fans won’t get to see the guy play until April 2020; that is a pretty long ways away.
Secondly, this is bad for baseball because it dampers the Los Angeles Angels chances of getting to the postseason. Why is that bad for the MLB? Well, it would just mean another postseason without one of the greatest players I have ever seen ( it’s not like I need to name him, but I’m talking about Mike Trout).
The Angels already had a tough road to the AL West crown with the defending champion Astros still rolling, but with the Mariners playing good and the Yankees / Red Sox inevitably taking one of the wild cards, LA’s path got a whole lot tougher losing possibly the best pitcher on their staff.
It wouldn’t be the most devastating news if the Angels didn’t already have a plethora of injuries to their starters. Pitchers Matt Shoemaker, Alex Meyer, and J.C. Ramirez are already done for the year. Add Ohtani to that list and the Angels are in trouble.
It was inevitable that Ohtani was going to have surgery. Right before coming to the states, it was announced that Ohtani had a grade 1 UCL sprain and as he continued to throw 100 miles per hour, that sprain worsened.
Despite how his season is ending, it was great to get a glimpse of Sho-Time. He proved me wrong and really proved to be a capable major league player on both sides of the ball, finishing with a 3.10 ERA and 6 homers in 34 games. Still, fans will have to wait to see the full-upside of the Japanese Babe Ruth. Personally I can’t wait.
-Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)
UPDATE: The Angels have denied reports Ohtani will surgery. This makes no sense to me considering Ohtani’s elbow has gotten worse since coming to the MLB. In the generation where Tommy John has become common place, I still expect Ohtani to require the procedure at some point.