Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani will undergo Tommy John surgery next week, the team announced Tuesday.
Dr. Neal ElAttrache will perform the operation in Los Angeles, according to the Angels.
Ohtani has pitched just once since early June due to soreness in his right (pitching) elbow. He went on the disabled list June 8 due to a ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) sprain, and he received stem-cell and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections in his elbow, treatments the team hoped would eliminate any need for surgery despite reports suggesting a procedure was likely.
He was activated July 3 and resumed duties as the Angels’ designated hitter.
Ohtani returned to the mound for a Sept. 2 start at Houston, but he lasted just 2 1/3 innings in the Angels’ 4-2 loss to the Astros.. In the first two innings, his fastball reached as high as 99 mph. By the third inning, it had fallen to between 89 and 92 mph.
He subsequently underwent an MRI exam that showed new damage to the UCL, prompting the recommendation that he have surgery.
The same day as receiving that diagnosis, Sept. 5, Ohtani went 4-for-4 and hit two home runs against the Texas Rangers.
Ohtani has 21 homers this season, a major league record for Japanese-born rookies. He is batting .280 with a .361 on-base percentage, a .564 slugging percentage, 56 RBIs and nine stolen bases in 99 games.
In 10 starts on the mound, Ohtani is 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA. He has struck out 63 and walked 22 in 51 2/3 innings.
Ohtani, 24, signed with the Angels in December after the team paid a $20 million posting fee to his former club, the Nippon Ham Fighters of Japanese Pacific League. It was reported shortly afterward that Ohtani had a first-degree sprain of his right UCL and that he had underwent a (PRP) shot last October to treat the elbow pain.
“Somewhere in the back of my mind, I was preparing to get Tommy John,” Ohtani said earlier this month. “That’s something that was in the back of my mind the whole time.”
–Field Level Media