Los Angeles Angels rookie Shohei Ohtani, who has earned comparisons to Babe Ruth due to his domination on the field as both a starting pitcher and a designated hitter, will reportedly need Tommy John surgery, ESPN's Pedro Gomez reported Monday. The surgery, which replaces a player's ulnar collateral ligament in their elbow with a tendon from the opposite arm or a leg, would end Ohtani's breathtaking first season prematurely.
"The earliest we might see him, should he have Tommy John surgery, would be the 2020 season," Gomez said on SportsCenter.
Ohtani, 23, who was acquired during the off-season from Japan's Nippon league, first went on the disabled list last week, and has reportedly been treated in the meantime with plasma injections and stem cells. Jeva Lange
Update 1:54 p.m. ET: The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reports that Angels general manager Billy Eppler disputed ESPN's report, saying that "there have been no changes in Octane's diagnosis and neither our physicians nor medical staff have recommended [Tommy John surgery] or said it's likely."