Shohei Ohtani is expected to return to his two-way role in 2020.
According to ESPN's Alden Gonzalez, the Angels star has completed his throwing program, the final step of his Tommy John surgery rehab, and was cleared to return to Japan. He will finish his rest and recovery program there, Gonazlez notes.
Ohtani spent the duration of the 2019 season solely as a designated hitter, after having surgery to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament in his right throwing elbow in October 2018. He appeared in 106 games last season, starting 91, and the lefthanded batter posted a .286/.343/.505 line with 18 home runs and 62 RBI.
In 2018, Ohtani made 10 starts on the mound, going 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. According to Gonzalez, Ohtani is not expected to pitch more than once a week, though, and the team is still developing a plan for his two-way usage in 2020. An innings limited might be implemented.
The Angels recently signed Dylan Bundy and Julio Teheran in free agency, adding the two arms to a starting rotation that was among baseball's worst last season.
Los Angeles went only 72-90 last year, finishing fourth in the AL West. It fired first-year manager Brad Ausmus on Sept. 30th, but hired 2016 World Series champion Joe Maddon less than three weeks later after Maddon was let go by the Cubs.
The team also recently signed 2019 World Series champion Anthony Rendon to a seven-year, $245 million deal.