Angels' Shohei Ohtani Still Wants to Be 2-Way Player After Forearm Injury

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2020

Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, throws to the plate as Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel stands at second during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Los Angeles Angels pitcher and designated hitter Shohei Ohtani is dealing with a forearm injury that could put his immediate and long-term pitching future in jeopardy, but he isn't giving up his hope of being an impact two-way player at the major league level just yet.

Ohtani said during a videoconference that he wants to remain a two-way player, per Bleacher Report's Scott Miller, but acknowledged "if it comes down to them telling me to focus (only) on my pitching or hitting I will listen."

The comments come after Joe Maddon told reporters Ohtani "definitely" will not take the mound again in 2020, although the Angels manager acknowledged he still could in the future.

On Monday, the Angels announced he will not throw for at least four to six weeks but is day-to-day as far as his DH role.

It appeared as if Ohtani was well on his way to a successful career as a two-way player in 2018 when he took home the American League Rookie of the Year with a .285/.361/.564 slash line, 22 home runs and 61 RBI as a hitter and 3.31 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 51.2 innings as a pitcher.

However, he underwent Tommy John surgery after the campaign and was limited to just his role as a hitter in 2019.

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The plan was for him to once again do both in 2020, but he struggled by allowing seven runs in 1.2 innings of work in his first two starts before he was diagnosed with the injury. He is also struggling at the plate with a .148/.179/.407 slash line, two home runs and seven RBI in six games.