Angels not concerned with Shohei Ohtani’s velocity drop
Shohei Ohtani made his first pitching start since June on Sunday, and it was an abbreviated outing as expected. What was not expected, however, was the way Ohtani seemed to hit a wall with his fastball.
In the first of the 2 1/3 innings that he pitched, Ohtani’s fastball velocity was in the high-90s like we saw earlier this season. However, he seemed to rapidly lose steam the more pitches he threw.
Ohtani's velocity trends tonight are absolutely horrifying pic.twitter.com/2l0aUPamUM
— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) September 3, 2018
Ohtani allowed four men to reach base and gave up a two-run home run to George Springer before he was pulled. Naturally, there is concern that his elbow issues may have contributed to the dip in velocity. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said the right-hander was dealing with some other minor injuries.
Mike Scioscia said Shohei Ohtani was dealing with some back stiffness and a sore right middle finger from attempting to snag a comebacker, which the Angels believe led to his drop in velocity. They don’t think it was related to his elbow.
— Maria I. Guardado (@mi_guardado) September 3, 2018
Given how bad the reports about Ohtani’s elbow sounded early on, it’s a good sign that the Angels felt comfortable enough letting him pitch again this season. Still, when a power pitcher’s velocity drops 10 mph from one inning to the next, that is a clear cause for concern.