Because throwing a baseball is a terrible thing to do your arm, the pitching version of Shohei Ohtani has been MIA since June 6 with a sprained UCL in his right elbow. A downer of an injury for sure, but it’s been softened by the fact that Shohei’s been busy terrorizing pitching while rehabbing his elbow.
In the month of August alone, Shohei is slashing .327/.413/.709 with six home runs and 18 RBI. In total for the season he’s hit 15 home runs, and should be the AL Rookie of the Year when you factor in the 49 strong innings he’s provided on the mound.
Shohei will have the opportunity to pad his pitching stats further this Sunday, as he has been given the green light to return Sunday against the Astros. The Japanese Babe Ruth expressed no concerns about taking the mound (via The OC Register’s Jeff Fletcher):
“I always wanted to get back on the mound as soon as I could,” Ohtani said, “especially with all our staring pitchers getting hurt, going on the DL, it made me want to get back out there even more. Hopefully I can finish the year strong, with a month left, with no setbacks or injuries.”
He didn’t seem to be concerned about the risk of pitching: “I’m not too worried. It’s not my first time doing this. I had something similar in Japan. I’ve had success in the past. I’m not too worried about it.”
Everyone will be hoping for the same thing when Sunday rolls around: please, for the love of god, don’t break.