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Monday, August 03, 2020

Angels’ Shohei Ohtani strains arm, won’t throw for 4-6 weeks

Shohei Ohtani has a right forearm strain that will prevent the Los Angeles Angels’ two-way star from throwing for at least four to six weeks, possibly ending his season as a pitcher after just two starts.


Angels general manager Billy Eppler announced Monday that Ohtani “has a grade 1-2 strain of the flexor pronator mass” — a collection of muscles and tendons in the forearm near the elbow.

The right-hander reported discomfort in his arm Sunday after he issued five walks and got only five outs in a rough 50-pitch start against Houston.

Ohtani is traveling with the Angels to Seattle, where they open a six-game road trip Tuesday night. The Angels also use Ohtani as their primary designated hitter between his mound starts, and he is day-to-day as a hitter, the team said.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 03, 2020 at 10:53 PM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: shohei ohtani

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   1. caspian88 Posted: August 04, 2020 at 12:13 AM (#5967817)
It's long past time to give up on the two-way dream, which was always just that.
   2. Hank Gillette Posted: August 04, 2020 at 06:44 AM (#5967829)
It's long past time to give up on the two-way dream, which was always just that.


And the fragility of his arm suggests that he should work on his hitting (which is already pretty good).
   3. Nasty Nate Posted: August 04, 2020 at 07:48 AM (#5967830)
It's long past time to give up on the two-way dream, which was always just that.
2018 might seem like a dream, but it apparently was only two years ago.
   4. Rally Posted: August 04, 2020 at 08:23 AM (#5967834)
It might not have worked out anyway, but keeping him in there past 40 pitches (for the inning), in only his 3rd inning since returning from surgery, is one way to murder the dream.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 04, 2020 at 09:20 AM (#5967838)
It's long past time to give up on the two-way dream, which was always just that.

Well, then he's just a boring DH, so not worth any column inches.
   6. The Mighty Quintana Posted: August 04, 2020 at 11:46 AM (#5967851)
I dunno, he's got really good mobility and hopefully the arm heals sufficiently for outfield play. I still think a Shawn Green type of career is possible.
   7. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: August 04, 2020 at 12:29 PM (#5967856)
It's long past time to give up on the two-way dream, which was always just that.

Balderdash. I mean, yeah, he probably won't be a full time starting pitcher anymore. However, just because it was a likely outcome (hell, isn't that the case for *all* SP?) doesn't mean it wasn't worth trying for. There was a nonzero - and IMO it was well above zero - chance that he was a unicorn. You embrace that - it worked for a while in Japan even - and then you inevitably deal with the failure when it happens. 2018 was legit exciting, and he definitely had (has) the talent to do both.

I'm a cynic, but the idea that he should have never tried is ridiculous.

It might not have worked out anyway, but keeping him in there past 40 pitches (for the inning), in only his 3rd inning since returning from surgery, is one way to murder the dream.

Absolutely. That was absolute malpractice on the part of the Angels.
   8. Rally Posted: August 04, 2020 at 01:20 PM (#5967866)
I tried to look at how common 40 pitch innings are anyway, using a retrosheet database from 2016-19. I need to refine my query, since I discovered it was double counting.

For example, if a batter is up for 4 pitches, then a wild pitch moves a runner up a base, then the next pitch resolves the AB, I see two rows, one with 4 pitches and the event is a WP, the next row whatever the batter ended up doing. So I need to refine that.

But even with the coding error, 40 pitch innings were something like 1/10th of a percent of all pitcher-innings in that time frame. I'm curious if any manager has done been so negligent with a pitcher in the early stages of TJS recovery, or if Maddon set a new standard.
.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: August 04, 2020 at 06:42 PM (#5967899)
When you take everything into consideration, that probably was a "unique" inning in MLB history. 40+ pitches from one guy ... with 5 walks, how often is a pitcher left in for a 5th walk in an inning ... coming off a start of 0 innings, 3 H and 3 BB ... coming back from TJS ... with an expanded roster of 30 packed with pitchers. Just inexcusable.
   10. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 04, 2020 at 09:04 PM (#5967911)
   11. Rally Posted: August 04, 2020 at 09:19 PM (#5967917)
And Goodwin/Upton are now a platoon. Did not see Upton becoming an Albertross so quickly, his contract was only 5 years and the first one was good. 2 years left on it after this one.
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 04, 2020 at 09:57 PM (#5967919)
Ohtani shut down for the year.

That's just for pitching, right? He'll still hit.
   13. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 04, 2020 at 10:19 PM (#5967923)
Edit: Wrong thread.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: August 05, 2020 at 12:31 AM (#5967946)
the idea that he should have never tried is ridiculous.

Given I was Debbie Downer from word go ... to be clear, I think it's 1000% fine that HE tried it. Whether the Angels should have let him try it ... I don't particularly have a problem with that either but it was always going to be hard to work. Realistically, given the way players are handled these days, you figured he'd always "need" a day off before and after a start ... whether you let him hit when he started I'm not sure. So you were probably going to be lucky to get more than 300 PA out of him in any year so, even if an outstanding hitter, probably no better than 2-3 WAR. But that level of hitting would mean that he'd be adding 2-3 WAR if you let him hit full-time and what were the chances he'd be a substantially better pitcher than that?

All that said, I didn't expect him to hit this well and guessed he'd concentrate on pitching. And also, for that brief period in 2018, he was hitting the daily double. His arm was hurt about 40% of the way through the season to which point he had 9 starts, 49 IP, 3.10 ERA and about 2.7 WAR. To that point he had 129 PA (30 games started ... I'm not sure if any of those coincide with pitching starts but no NL starts), hitting 289/327/535. That looks to have been worth about 1 WAR, maybe a bit less. Call it 3.5 WAR total in 40% of a season and that's a hell of a player.

But even there -- 9 starts in 40% of the season is a light load; if he could have maintained that production over 27 starts, that's 8 WAR right there, why risk letting the between-start hitting affect his pitching if that's his true talent? Further, fangraphs didn't like his pitching so much, putting it at just 1 WAR (that's a huge difference). If he was really no more than a 3 WAR SP in a full season, why restrict him to a half-season in the field if he's really a 5-WAR hitter.

Still, you don't really know what level of pitcher/hitter he is until you let him try.
   15. BrianBrianson Posted: August 05, 2020 at 01:23 AM (#5967949)
Well, reading this thread, I really hope he insists on pitching next year, and becomes completely intransigeant witht the Angels if they try to stop him.
   16. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: August 05, 2020 at 11:41 AM (#5967989)
Whether the Angels should have let him try it

Considering he was basically a recruit signed for the minimum, I'm sure the condition of getting his services was predicated on being able to both pitch and hit. Not sure that something that could have been included in his contract, so the burden of convincing him to give up or the other up would be entirely on the team. I'll just say I don't think there's a "right" answer or that it's obvious he should have been a hitter over a pitcher or vice versa. But like 15, I'm sure hoping he keeps trying to do both.
   17. The Mighty Quintana Posted: August 05, 2020 at 01:12 PM (#5968001)
Wouldn't he have a lot more value in the NL as a middle reliever? Minimize the innings, and come in from right field to pitch 2 innings while saving (and being better than) a PH. Might need to carry an extra glove man as your 5th OF...

That way, no days off needed, and can go back to OF after his 2 innings. Should be able to get 600 PA that way and 80-90 high leverage innings.

   18. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 05, 2020 at 01:22 PM (#5968003)
I don’t think anyone has identified anything about playing DH that makes it more likely one would be injured as a pitcher. Most players don’t have the skills to hit & pitch at the MLB level, or are more skilled at one, or simply aren’t inclined to attempt both. Maybe time spent on pitching detracts from Ohtani’s hitting, or vice versa, but pitchers get injured all the time, and including his tIme in Japan Ohtani has a bit of mileage on him. It looks like he’ll have the remainder of this season and most of next to DH, and perhaps play some outfield toward the end. Depending on performance, that might persuade the Angels and/or Ohtani that concentrating on hitting is the way to go. However, if quality starting pitching is in short supply, I don’t see why Ohtani would be treated differently than other pitchers coming back from injury.
   19. KronicFatigue Posted: August 05, 2020 at 01:23 PM (#5968004)
17 would be exciting, but what are the logistics of warming up if you have to play the field on defense? You'd probably need to bat him around 4th or so, so that he could warm up when you know the SP is going to be pinch-hit and Ohtani doesn't have to worry about getting ready to hit.

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