After back-to-back injury-limited seasons, the Angels expect a healthy Shohei Ohtani for spring training in 2021, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Ohtani has been throwing from 120 feet of late with roughly 75 to 80 percent effort, according to Fletcher.
This is welcome news at the outset of the offseason for the Angels. who probably haven’t gotten as much out of the ballyhooed Ohtani as expected since they signed the former Japanese standout before 2018. The two-way Ohtani more than lived up to the hype as a pitcher and hitter in his first year, but elbow problems limited him to 51 2/3 innings then. He subsequently underwent Tommy John surgery, which stopped him from pitching in 2019, and then threw a meager 1 2/3 frames this year because of a flexor strain.
All said, Ohtani has given the Angels 53 1/3 innings of 4.39 ERA/3.89 FIP ball with 11.14 K/9 and 5.06 BB/9 across 53 1/3 innings. As a hitter, the 26-year-old has slashed an easily above-average .269/.340/.503 (126 wRC+) with 47 home runs and 29 stolen bases in 967 plate appearances, though he did struggle in 2020. Nevertheless, Ohtani’s someone the Angels will continue to bank on, both as a starter and a designated hitter, in 2021.