Angels two-way star Ohtani likely out until 2020

June 2018 will not undergo Tommy John surgery on his damaged elbow the team's general manager announced

Unfortunately for the Angels, if Tommy John is needed for Ohtani, that blow would still smart next year as he would probably miss all of the 2019 season as well while recovering.

ESPN's Pedro Gomez reported Sunday night that the Angels are anxious that Ohtani's UCL sprain has progressed to Grade 3, a full tear that would require ligament replacement surgery (a.k.a. Tommy John surgery) and a lengthy rehab process.

Ohtani was placed on the disabled list last week after suffering a grade 2 sprain of the UCL as Angels team doctors try to treat the injury before electing to operate.

Historically, many pitchers with grade 2 sprains end up having Tommy John surgery, even those who have platelet-rich plasma or stem-cell injections, as Ohtani did. "They're trying to hold out, because they're in the middle of the season, they're kind of competitive right now, he is their best pitcher, but it doesn't look good at this point". He is scheduled to be re-evaluated in three weeks.

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On Monday, Eppler reiterated that the Angels' evaluation of Ohtani remains unchanged.

Ohtani, the first two-way MLB pitcher in decades, is 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA on the mound and is hitting.289 with six home runs, 20 RBI and a.907 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in his first season of USA baseball.

Los Angeles Angels rookie two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery and be sidelined until the 2020 season, according to a report Monday by ESPN's Pedro Gomez. But Ohtani later brought up his elbow soreness. Speaking to reporters then, Eppler said he hoped that treatment would be enough. He boasts a 4-1 record with a 3.10 ERA over nine starts on the mound and has clubbed six home runs and 20 RBIs in 34 games at the plate, playing DH on his off days as a starter.

The Angels are 37-29 and sit 4 ½ games behind the Mariners and Astros in the AL West.

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