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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Ohtani ‘likely to return’ as hitter in ‘18

Baseball fans clamoring for the return of two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani may get their wish in the coming weeks, at least in a limited capacity.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler made an appearance on MLB Network Radio on Wednesday and told MLB.com’s Jim Duquette that Ohtani is “likely to return as a hitter no matter what” happens with the plasma-rich platelet (PRP) injection he received earlier this month for his ailing right elbow. Eppler added that the Angels took the PRP approach with the hope of having Ohtani pitch again this season, and that he would already have been cleared to play as a designated hitter if Los Angeles wasn’t also aiming to get him back on the mound in 2018.

Tough dilemma.  At least this way you are fairly certain to get some value out of the guy this year, vs rolling the dice and not getting anything from him until 2020.

John DiFool2 Posted: June 27, 2018 at 04:56 PM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, shohei ohtani

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   1. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 27, 2018 at 05:08 PM (#5701038)
Good to hear.
   2. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: June 27, 2018 at 05:13 PM (#5701041)
This feels like it's a step towards making him a full time DH/OF imo. Say the elbow doesn't heal and you're looking at missing all of '19 and most of '20 or you can simply stop pitching and pick up a bat full time and produce around 6 WAR in the meantime?

Sucks, but I just cannot see a scenario where it will be easy to say "cya in July of 2020" if things don't go well enough to get him on the mound otherwise.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 27, 2018 at 05:16 PM (#5701048)
This feels like it's a step towards making him a full time DH/OF imo. Say the elbow doesn't heal and you're looking at missing all of '19 and most of '20 or you can simply stop pitching and pick up a bat full time and produce around 6 WAR in the meantime?

Totally depends on how good a hitter he really is, playing everyday.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: June 27, 2018 at 05:27 PM (#5701057)
#2 -- the most likely outcome was always that he'd turn out to be just one or the other. But for now, if Eppler's being honest, they're still trying for the jackpot, saying that he would have already been DHing if getting his bat in the lineup was the goal. And, yeah, in line with #3, let's wait until we assume he's a 6-WAR hitter. For now he's the next Brandon Nimmo as a hitter. And if he is a 6-WAR hitter then they're fools for risking that in hopes that they might find the right 2-way balance to make him a 7-WAR player.
   5. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: June 27, 2018 at 05:32 PM (#5701062)
Totally depends on how good a hitter he really is, playing everyday.


Yeah. There have been only six 6 WAR seasons from 50% DHs. 3 by Edgar, 2 by Frank Thomas, and one by Ortiz. Even 5 WAR seasons are rare, and are mostly HOF or HOF caliber players: Manny, Raffy, Molitor, Rice. The lowest OPS+ for the 6 WAR seasons was 163, in 707 PA.
   6. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: June 27, 2018 at 06:45 PM (#5701093)
I'm surprised nobody put two and two together and figured I was estimating 6 WAR COMBINED in '19,20 as a hitter.
   7. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: June 27, 2018 at 06:59 PM (#5701099)
I'm surprised nobody put two and two together and figured I was estimating 6 WAR COMBINED in '19,20 as a hitter.


OK. I missed that. 3 WAR/YR is a reasonable expectation.
   8. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 27, 2018 at 07:25 PM (#5701113)
This feels like it's a step towards making him a full time DH/OF imo. Say the elbow doesn't heal and you're looking at missing all of '19 and most of '20 or you can simply stop pitching and pick up a bat full time and produce around 6 WAR in the meantime?

If the PRP treatment doesn't work, and Ohtani needs off-season Tommy John surgery, he'd still be ready as a hitter around the start of the 2019 season, since the recovery time for hitters is only about 6 months. If he has TJS surgery today or after the season, he'd be out for all of 2019 as a pitcher, so the PRP treatment was the only option potentially providing some pitching from him in 2018 & 2019, rather than an abandonment of the pitching role.
   9. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: June 28, 2018 at 02:02 AM (#5701291)
Just submitted this article.

Get well soon.
   10. The Honorable Ardo Posted: June 28, 2018 at 09:39 AM (#5701355)
More and more, it seems Ohtani, like Ruth, will settle into being a hitter only - and a d-n good one.

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