Shohei Ohtani to Take Batting Practice for 1st Time Since Tommy John Surgery

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 19, 2019

Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, smiles in the dugout before the team's baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Wednesday, April 10, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Los Angeles Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani will take batting practice with the team for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery in October.

 of The Athletic reported the news.

Ohtani will not pitch during the 2019 season but is expected to return as a hitter at some point. The righty went 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA and 1.16 WHIP on the mound and hit .285/.361/.564 with 22 home runs and 61 runs batted in as a hitter. 

"As a player, I think it's natural to try to get back as quickly as possible," Ohtani told reporters earlier this month. "That's how I'm feeling right now. But it's not up to me; it's up to the team. I know they're trying to be very careful with me."

General manager Billy Eppler told reporters Tuesday that Ohtani will complete his rehab with the team with at-bats against live pitching.

“We’re gonna work it in a progression,” Eppler said. “It’s not just without any kind of parameters or restrictions.”

Ohtani will serve as a designated hitter when he returns to the lineup. Albert Pujols has been the team's primary designated hitter this season and will move back to first base when Ohtani returns. 

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