Japanese star Ohtani not ready to pitch for Angels

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Shohei Ohtani took another step in his pitching rehab on Wednesday, but a full return to the mound isn't in the cards just yet, Los Angeles Angels manager Brad Ausmus reiterated.

The two-way player Ohtani, who has been compiling impressive numbers as a designated hitter this season, will not pitch again until 2020, Ausmus repeated on Wednesday.

"No chance," he said of him pitching again in 2019.

The 24-year-old Ohtani had elbow ligament replacement surgery October 1. He threw from the mound on Wednesday before the Angels faced the Cincinnati Reds.

"I felt really comfortable," Ohtani said through a translator. "It felt good to get up on there again."

Later that day, Ohtani had three hits and a walk as the Angels won their third straight game with a 5-1 victory over the Reds.

Justin Bour hit two home runs as the Angels swept the two-game series with Cincinnati.

Earlier this month, Ohtani batted four-for-four to became the first Japanese-born player in MLB to hit for the cycle in the Angels 5-3 win over Tampa Bay.

Ohtani made history with a single to centre field in the seventh inning to cap the cycle -- when a batter hits a home run, triple, double and single in a game.

Ohtani was selected as the American League rookie of the year in 2018. He went 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA in 10 starts as a pitcher, and he batted 285, hammered 22 homers and hit 61 RBIs.