Scioscia Downplays Concerns Over Ohtani's Elbow

Getty Images


Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia knows about the minor sprain in newly acquired Japanese star Shohei Ohtani's elbow, but he is not concerned. 

According to reports, Angels recruit Ohtani received a platelet rich plasma injection in his pitching elbow in October to help heal a small tear in the ulnar collateral ligament in the same elbow. 

"No restrictions with Shohei," Scioscia told reporters at baseball's winter meetings on Wednesday.

"The only understanding we have is really just something that’s behind him. There's no concern, and there's no restrictions. He'll be full go in spring training."

The Angels knew of the injury risk and are clearly not worried, probably because this type of injury has historically been manageable.

One of the best examples would be with a fellow player out of Japan in Masahiro Tanaka. 

Tanaka had PRP injections in his elbow to deal with a slight UCL tear in 2014 and has since been able to pitch without having to undergo Tommy John surgery. 

Scioscia could use Ohtani in a six-man rotation to help with his arm health and the transition to MLB.

"With Shohei, there's a lot of things we're going to consider about how many starts he's going to get and where he' going to fit in our rotation," he said. "We haven't made any determination but certainly something to consider."

The Angels could also use Ohtani on the basepaths. 

"I think that if he is going to play baseball, he's going to play baseball," Scioscia said. "Like any player, you want him to go out there and play as aggressively as they can. So if he's running the bases, just like the rest of our guys on the team, you want him to you know the bases aggressively and he does have very, very good speed.

"What situations come up where you might be able to utilise his speed, that remains to be seen, but if he's playing baseball and he's on the bases, he's a runner. He's not a pitcher, not a hitter, he's a runner. So we want to apply that."