The Los Angeles Angels’ two-way phenomenon Shohei Ohtani returned to the mound on Sunday after not pitching in 2019 and most of 2018 due to Tommy John surgery, but his first start in 693 days did not go as planned.
Ohtani, who took the mound against the Oakland A’s in the rubber game of the Opening Weekend three-game set, faced six batters and failed to record an out in what can only be described as a disappointing return.
The Japanese sensation walked three batters and gave up three singles before Angels manager Joe Maddon walked to the mound and removed him from the game, continuing a trend which had been seen in Summer Camp prior to the season’s beginning.
Ohtani struggled with control and effectiveness in intrasquad scrimmages, and those same issues popped up on Sunday. The 26-year-old had trouble finding the strike zone and simply looked uncomfortable against the A’s.
It was a far cry from the Ohtani who made ten starts, posting a 4-2 record along with a 3.31 ERA and 63 strikeouts before tearing his ulnar collateral ligament in his debut season.
Ohtani is scheduled to make another start on Friday, but it remains to be seen whether or not his turn in the rotation will be skipped.