The following tidbits are the most fantasy-relevant news I’ve found so far this offseason.
• Lots of information in this article to consider about Shohei Ohtani. One item that finally clicked with me was that his late-season injury was a knee issue.
Ohtani, though, proved he’s still a strong hitter, batting .286/.343/.505 with 18 homers and 62 RBIs in 106 games, but he saw his season end on Sept. 11 after undergoing surgery to address a bipartite patella in his left knee. The injury began to flare up in Spring Training, but Ohtani played through it, as it mostly only affected him as he ramped up his throwing program off the mound.
Tommy John recoveries need to get their new tendon from somewhere and it’s usually the knee. I wonder if the knee wasn’t healed from the elbow operation.
Also, his 2019 value seems limited by just pitching once a week and batting in just half the games.
Ohtani remains on track to return to two-way status in 2020, as he’s expected to pitch once a week and serve as the DH roughly three to four times a week. But he has to get his rehab done with both his knee and elbow this offseason, as he’s yet to fully complete his throwing program.
He is expected to be cleared to finish his throwing program in December and the hope is that he’ll have enough time to be ready for the start of the season. Ohtani is likely to be behind the other pitchers early in Spring Training, but it’s still too early to know the full plan heading into next year.
He’ll be limited to about 25 starts and in weekly lineup leagues, he’s just a half-time bat. Owners in bi-weekly lineup moves (e.g. NFBC leagues) can hope he hits during one of the two weekly blocks and not split time.
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