Angels think Ohtani could return in May

The Los Angeles Angels are staying optimistic about star Shohei Ohtani's return date ahead of the MLB season.

While the American League Rookie of the Year will not pitch in 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in October, the Angels are hoping he could return to the batting line-up a couple of months into the campaign.

"I'm not going to put a date on it, but we're thinking sometime in May," Angels manager Brad Ausmus told reporters on Tuesday.

Ohtani stole lots of headlines last season because of his fastball, but the Japanese player more than held his own at the plate posting a .285/.361/.564 slash line with 22 home runs and 61 RBIs in 326 at-bats.

In games Ohtani was in the line-up in 2018, the Angels scored 4.71 runs per game. In outings when he was on the bench, they scored 3.98. The Angels went 52-52 when he was in the line-up and 28-30 in all others.

Ohtani is not expected to pitch again until the 2020 season. He went 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA with 63 strikeouts in 51.6 innings pitched.

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