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OC Register: Angels’ Shohei Ohtani to undergo Tommy John surgery next week


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ANAHEIM — The Angels announced Tuesday that two-way star Shohei Ohtani will undergo Tommy John surgery, as had been expected. Dr. Neal ElAttrache will perform the surgery in Los Angeles next week, the first week of the offseason.

The Angels first recommended that Ohtani receive Tommy John earlier this month after an MRI exam revealed new damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching (right) elbow. Undergoing the surgery now will likely sideline Ohtani from the mound until the 2020 season, but the 24-year-old, who throws right-handed and bats left-handed, has said he hopes to be available to hit during much of the 2019 season. Ohtani could perhaps spend significant time as the Angels’ designated hitter next year while still allowing his elbow to recover for an eventual return to the mound.

Position players typically return to the field in less time following Tommy John. Yankees rookie infielder Gleyber Torres, who missed about half of the 2017 season after tearing the UCL in his non-throwing elbow. Dodgers star Corey Seager underwent Tommy John surgery this past May, and he’s expected to be on the team’s Opening Day roster in 2019.

Ohtani has been one of the biggest storylines in MLB this season and is a contender for American League Rookie of the Year honors. Ohtani is hitting .280 with 21 home runs and 56 RBIs in 307 at-bats.  Entering Tuesday, his .564 slugging percentage ranked seventh among hitters with at least 300 plate appearances. On the mound, he posted a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts while striking out 63 hitters in 51-2/3 innings.

More to come on this story.

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