The Los Angeles Angels haven't had star rookie Shohei Ohtani at their disposal as a pitcher since June 7. The two-way star has been limited to strictly hitting duties due to a UCL injury.
Ohtani was diagnosed with a Grade 2 UCL sprain. He did not undergo Tommy John Surgery and instead tried to rest and rehabilitate the ligament.
It might have worked. Ohtani had his six-week check-up today and received good news from the doctor.
The Angels released a statement this evening updating Ohtani's progress. The ligament is showing signs of healing, and he has been cleared to begin a throwing program.
Just because Ohtani has been cleared to begin throwing doesn't mean he will pitch again in the majors this season. He could always suffer a setback, and the Angels are going to be very cautious with him.
If he is able to return, it is a good thing for the game of baseball. Ohtani's two-way ability was one of the most fun parts of the early 2018 season.
In nine starts this season, Ohtani is 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 49.1 innings. His stuff is among the best in baseball.
As a hitter, Ohtani is slashing .283/.365/.522 with seven home runs, 22 RBI and two stolen bases in 45 games.