Shohei Ohtani has suffered what the Los Angeles Angels described as "new damage" on the ulnar collateral ligament of his right elbow, prompting the organization's physicians to recommend Tommy John surgery, which would keep the 24-year-old two-way sensation off the mound until 2020.
The final decision rests with Ohtani, but the Angels have prepared themselves for what now seems like an inevitability. Angels general manager Billy Eppler called the news "disappointing" during a conference call with the media on Wednesday, hours before Ohtani belted two home runs in a 9-3 win over the Texas Rangers.
Eppler thought back to his scouting trips to Japan, when Ohtani was a high school phenom, and to his conversations with Ohtani in December, when the Angels beat out basically every major league team by becoming his preferred destination.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping
"He made a commitment to us, and he trusted us," Eppler said. "He trusted that we would use him in a two-way role, and we made that commitment. When you commit to somebody, it makes it hard to walk away from them, or it makes it hard to change course on them. Not only are you letting them down, but you're living with the responsibility that comes with committing to somebody."
The Angels "do still see [Ohtani] as a two-way player," Eppler said.
Ohtani has been cleared to continue to serve as the designated hitter and batted third at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, reaching base all five times and scoring four runs. Asked whether Ohtani would stay in the lineup as a DH beyond Wednesday, Scioscia said, "We'll see. That's going to be determined from our medical department."
Eppler wouldn't entertain hypotheticals about Ohtani's potential 2019 role if he does have surgery, a scenario that could, in theory, include him becoming an outfielder for at least one season.
The two are expected to have more in-depth conversations about the next course of action on Monday, after the team's road trip.
Ohtani didn't speak with reporters after the announcement about his injury or following Wednesday's game.nfl nike jerseys for cheap
"He's mentally tough in any situation he's ever in," Scioscia said after the game. "Tonight, he was a hitter. He didn't think about what the future is and what the decision is he's got to make for his elbow. He was out there playing baseball and hitting the ball."Tags: cheap nfl jerseys china, cheap nfl wholesale jerseys, cheap nike nfl jerseys from china, china nike nfl jerseys cheap, discount nfl jerseys china