The Los Angeles Angels activated Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani prior to Tuesday night’s game at the Detroit Tigers. Ohtani’s 2018 rookie season was cut short due to a torn UCL. The injury forced him to undergo Tommy John surgery, so he will not pitch this season.
Angels Activate Shohei Ohtani
Ohtani put up good numbers in 10 games as a starting pitcher, but he was signed by the Angels for both his arm and bat. It was this rare combination of his offense and pitching that got him voted the American League Rookie of the Year. Consequently, Ohtani will serve as the team’s regular designated hitter for the remainder of the season.
OFFICIAL: Shohei Ohtani will be activated for tonight’s game. pic.twitter.com/FBf2ZHfB2s
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) May 7, 2019
Ohtani’s offensive production in 2018 was quite impressive. He hit 22 HR’s and drove in 61 runs in just 326 at-bats. The Angels as a team have given up 16 more runs than they have scored. A healthy Ohtani offensively can tip the scales in the right direction for the Angels.
The Angels Effect
Ohtani immediately becomes the second-best offensive player on the Angels behind Mike Trout. Justin Upton has yet to play this season due to turf toe, and his return date is still not known. The team ERA is high at 5.05. Outside of the soon-to-be-returning Andrew Heaney, there is no pitching help on the horizon. Unless the Angels seek pitching help outside of the organization, they will have to outscore their opponents to win games.
The Angels, with a record of 15-19, are currently in fourth place, five and one-half games behind the first place Houston Astros. Even with the season being less than a quarter old, the top teams in the league are starting to hit their strides. The Angels need to keep pace with not just the Astros but also the other potential wild card teams. Their roster is not as talented as the top teams in the league, so getting the team to full strength is crucial to the success of this season.
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