The Los Angeles Angels announced some crushing news on Wednesday, that Tommy John surgery was recommended for rookie star Shohei Ohtani.
Shohei Ohtani underwent an MRI on his right elbow earlier today. The imaging revealed new damage to his ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). Based on these findings, UCL reconstruction surgery is the recommended plan of care. Additional information will be provided when appropriate.— Angels (@Angels) September 5, 2018
So what did Ohtani do about it on Wednesday night during the Angels clash with the Texas Rangers? All he did was step deliver four hits, and two of them went over the wall for home runs.
Can you say "AL Rookie of the Year"?
Per Maria Guardado of MLB.com, it hasn't been decided yet if Ohtani will undergo the procedure. If he does, he probably wouldn't be able to pitch again until 2020. But judging by his performance on Wednesday, Ohtani isn't bothered by the elbow injury, and he can still crush the ball with relative ease.
It was a great moment for the Angels in what's been a disappointing 2018 season. Injuries have piled up on their key players. Albert Pujols required knee surgery and is missing the final month of the season, starting pitcher Garrett Richards needed Tommy John surgery and Mike Trout missed time with a wrist injury.
As a batter, Ohtani is batting .287 with 18 home runs, 47 RBI and an OPS of .946. On the mound, he's 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA and has 63 strikeouts in 51.2 innings pitched. Ohtani has come every bit as advertised for the Angels thus far, and if the elbow injury doesn't hamper him throughout his career, this guy will be a once-in-a-lifetime superstar.
The Angels enter play on with a 68-72 record, which isn't all that bad considering three teams in the AL West could finish 20 games above .500. If they can fix their pitching staff and get healthy versions of Ohtani and Trout over the long-term future, the Angels certainly could be a juggernaut.
2018 has been a lost season for the Angels, but at least Ohtani has given this franchise a lot to be excited about for the future.