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#pounditFriday, December 9, 2022

Shohei Ohtani struggles badly in first outing since Tommy John surgery

Shohei Ohtani made his highly anticipated return to the mound on Sunday, but it would be an understatement to say things did not go well for the Los Angeles Angels star.

Ohtani, who was making his first pitching appearance since he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2018, did not record an out against the Oakland A’s. He allowed five earned runs on three hits and walked three consecutive batters after giving up a lead-off single to shortstop Marcus Semien.

Ohtani’s fastball hovered in the mid-to-low 90s, and ESPN’s Jeff Passan noted that his slider looked like it had some bite. However, the right-hander struggled with control.

The delayed start to the 2020 season allowed Ohtani to be ready for Opening Day. He ramped up his throwing work during the extended offseason and had control issues when he posted some abysmal stats in an intrasquad game earlier this month. Ohtani has struggled in spring training since joining the Angels, so there was no need to sound the alarm. However, the rough outing on Sunday has to be at least somewhat of a concern for the team.

Ohtani is a two-way player who still had a productive year at the plate in 2019 despite not being able to pitch. He hit .286 with 18 home runs and 62 RBI in 106 games.

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