Shohei Ohtani can’t seem to catch a break.
The Los Angeles Angels pitcher and designated hitter was diagnosed with a “grade 1-2 strain of the flexor pronator mass,” the team announced Monday, and will be shut down for four-to-six weeks.
Update on Shohei Ohtani: pic.twitter.com/hZ8RJJzEdN
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) August 3, 2020
With the 2020 Major League Baseball season already being cut short due to COVID-19, this timeline all but rules Ohtani out for the rest of the year. However, he is day-to-day as the DH, so his season isn’t over just yet.
The two-play phenom underwent Tommy John surgery on the same elbow in Oct. 2018 and has struggled on the mound this season as a starter, recording just five outs in two starts.
And, as ESPN’s Jeff Passan pointed out, there is quite the difference between the type of strain Ohtani could have.
There is a big difference between a Grade 1 and 2 strain. Strain = tear. Grade 1 is a slight tear with minimal issues. Grade 2 is much more significant — the sort of thing that is concerning and problematic. Grade 3 is a complete tear of the muscle that always requires surgery.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 3, 2020
Ohtani’s career as a pitcher and hitter have not gone perfectly, and it’s fair to wonder whether Los Angeles will rethink how it utilizes him and if Ohtani will be a one-way player going forward.