Shohei Ohtani’s readiness to throw off a mound is ‘imminent’

first_imgEven as Major League Baseball remains on hold and floating ideas for a return in May, Angels right-hander Shohei Ohtani is in the final stages of his rehab from Tommy John surgery and could start throwing off a mound “soon,” according to pitching coach Mickey Callaway.“He’s throwing out to 180 feet, long-tossing a little further than that, then coming back in to 60 feet and really letting it go,” Callaway said by way of update Tuesday. “So he’ll get off a mound soon. Right now, with him especially, we’re just taking it day by day especially during this quarantine thing. But he’ll be getting off a mound soon.“We’ll see the timing of everything, whether he’s going to be ready whenever we resume. But his arm is feeling great and the ball is coming out great at this point.”Ohtani underwent the elbow surgery in October 2018 and the Angels had targeted mid-May for a return to pitching this season, though he would have been ready to DH sooner than that. Callaway wouldn’t speculate on how many throwing sessions Ohtani would need off a pitcher’s mound before he would be ready to face hitters – likely in simulated-game or batting practice settings first. He did say Ohtani’s throwing shows he is he healthy and his readiness to throw off a mound “is imminent.” Related Articles But the uncertainty surrounding baseball’s return date has put all pitchers in a “suspended holding pattern” as Callaway put it.“It would probably be unfair to Shohei or anybody to give a certain amount of bullpens,” Callaway said. “He’s going to need some of them. I know that is a very vague answer. But I think it would be unfair to pigeon-hole ourselves.“If he’s able to throw out to 180 feet, long-tossing that far, the one thing we do know is he’s healthy and we’ll be able to figure it out from there.”Right-hander Griffin Canning, meanwhile, has resumed his throwing program and is “making about 50 throws a day out to 75 feet,” according to Callaway. Canning was shut down in early March due to soreness in his right elbow. He was diagnosed with “chronic changes” in the ulnar collateral ligament but no tear to the ligament. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection and would have opened the season on the Injured List if MLB had started on time.Callaway said he has been able to stay in contact with his pitching staff during this period of self-quarantining via Zoom and group texts and is confident they will be ready to go whenever MLB announces a new schedule for the 2020 season. In fact, he said a compressed season might favor the Angels. Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield center_img “There’s no doubt we have depth and we have more than five starters that can pitch in the big leagues and do it successfully,” Callaway said, referring to a group that includes Andrew Heaney, Dylan Bundy and Julio Teheran as well as Ohtani and Canning. “That is probably going to be something that is going to benefit us when we come back because I would assume we’re going to try to play as many games in a short time period as possible.“So having six, seven guys deep who can start – especially if you’re playing doubleheaders and things like that – it’s going to be very beneficial for us and should give us an advantage over most because we are so deep and so talented in those six spots.” Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros last_img read more