Angels right-hander Shohei Ohtani went down Monday with a Grade 1-2 flexor pronator mass strain. It looked then as if Ohtani wouldn’t make a return to the mound this year because of his four- to six-week timeline to begin throwing again. Manager Joe Maddon confirmed Tuesday that Ohtani is likely done as a pitcher for 2020, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (Twitter links). The team will reevaluate his forearm Wednesday, according to Maddon (via Maria Torres of the Los Angeles Times).
Fortunately, as an ultra-rare two-way talent, Ohtani’s not finished contributing for the year. Even though he probably won’t pitch again in 2020, Ohtani’s healthy enough that he’ll continue factoring in as a designated hitter. He has been quite successful in that role (not so much in the early going this year), though it’s nevertheless a loss for the Angels and the sport itself that the 26-year-old hasn’t been able to complete a season as a pitcher. The former Tommy John surgery patient has just 53 1/3 innings under his belt since he emigrated from Japan before the 2017 campaign.
Elsewhere on the roster, Maddon revealed that just-promoted outfield prospect Jo Adell will play every day. The elite farmhand, 21, will make his much-anticipated debut against the Mariners on Tuesday. The hope is that Adell and the return of all-world center fielder Mike Trout, who has been on paternity leave, will give the 3-7 Halos a desperately needed shot in the arm.
With Adell now in the mix, the Angels will platoon fellow corner outfielders Justin Upton (a right-handed hitter) and Brian Goodwin (a lefty) through year’s end. That isn’t the outcome the Angels envisioned when they signed Upton to a five-year, $106M contract before 2018, but his production has been lacking since last season. Goodwin has been a bright spot dating back to 2019, on the other hand, and he’s off to a dazzling .333/.412/.667 start over 34 plate appearances this year.