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Shohei Ohtani ‘probably’ needs Tommy John surgery, baseball is canceled until 2020

Monday’s Say Hey, Baseball hates everything right now.

Kansas City Royals v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images


You can do this, Marc, be professional about it.

ESPN’s Pedro Gomez is reporting, on SportsCenter, that Shohei Ohtani “probably” will undergo Tommy John surgery in order to repair his injured ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing arm. To make things even worse, Gomez is hearing that Ohtani might not be back until 2020, meaning that not only would his rookie season be over, but so too would his second year in the majors.

We knew this could happen, on two occasions: when the Angels first signed Ohtani, and again when he was placed on the disabled list last week with a sprain of his UCL. That doesn’t make acceptance any easier on Monday morning, when the probable has shifted toward the inevitable.

Ohtani has been a revelation in 2018, batting .289/.372/.535 with six homers in 34 games, while also posting a 3.10 ERA with over 11 strikeouts per nine and a strikeout-to-walk ratio better than three in his nine starts. Even with Ohtani’s contributions, the Angels still sit 4.5 games back of both the American League West leaders and a wild card spot, so losing one of their best pitchers and their best hitter after Mike Trout is a crushing blow.

So this is what we, the Ohtani-appreciating public, and the Angels have to hope for: Gomez is only hearing the most pessimistic reports, the platelet-rich plasma injection and rest Ohtani is currently prescribed do the trick, and he just misses some time within his rookie season before coming back and thriving once more. This sounds much better than “one of the most exciting players we’ve ever seen gave us two months of his life and will now disappear into the void for 18 months,” yeah?

Will we get our way, and Ohtani will be able to skip surgery and get back via rest and rehab? Search your feelings: you know we’re all going to be real upset soon when Gomez’s reports are confirmed.