Shohei Ohtani injury update: UCL sprain in elbow lands Angels star on the DL

The Angels announced that they’ve placed right-handed pitcher and DH Shohei Ohtani on the disabled list with a grade 2 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. 

Ohtani underwent a PRP and stem cell injection on Thursday, and he’ll be re-evaluated in three weeks. At that point, a course of care will be determined. With any UCL injury of note, Tommy John surgery always looms as a worst-case scenario although it’s far too early make any such assumptions. Still, as CBS Sports HQ’s David Samson pointed out, rest and rehab aren’t always enough:

It’s worth noting that Ohtani was revealed to have a Grade 1 strain back after the Angels signed him. They’ve been careful with his usage, essentially turning him into a Sunday starter, like the ones used in the college game. Apparently that conservative approach was not enough to keep his elbow in mint condition, however.

Ohtani had thus far been a sensation on the mound and in the batter’s box. He’d started nine games, tossing 49 innings while allowing 36 hits, 17 runs (3.10 ERA), and striking out 41 more batters than he walked. Good marks. At the dish, Ohtani had hit .289/.372/.535 (149 OPS+) with six home runs in 129 plate appearances.

Needless to say, this is damaging for the Angels, who had been relying on Ohtani’s contributions both ways to fuel their postseason aspirations. The Angels entered Friday 4.5 games back in the American League West. SportsLine’s projections had them with a 19 percent shot at making the playoffs. If Ohtani misses significant time — and he’s expected to be out until at least July — then you can bet on those odds declining.

NO COMMENTS