Shohei Ohtani’s season as a pitcher might have come to an early end due to damage to his UCL, but his season at the plate continues. Since he was shutdown as a pitcher at it was recommended that he undergo Tommy John surgery, Ohtani has hit four home runs.
The latest Ohtani long ball gave him 19 for the season and set a record for Japanese rookie, via ESPN:
Ohtani’s 19th of the season also set a new record for Japanese rookies, surpassing Kenji Johjima for the 2006 Mariners.
Prior to Friday’s game, Ohtani said he was still weighing whether or not to undergo the elbow reconstructive surgery. If he does elect to go under the knife to return to the mound, his rehab will likely not affect his ability to hit in 2019.
“Shohei got some very disappointing news the other day,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “He’s got some big decisions coming up when we get back to southern California. But he wants to play baseball. He goes out there, and he’s excited to be in there and be able to swing the bat. He’s playing very well.”
Ohtani is hitting .287 with 19 homers and 50 RBIs in 83 games. He’s proven up to this point that he can hit MLB pitching. If he has Tommy John, he plans to continue to DH while his elbow recovers.