ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Angels rookie Shohei Ohtani took his next step in a possible return to pitching by throwing a light bullpen session on Saturday.
The 24-year-old Japanese star threw 23 pitches, mixing in fastballs, sliders and curveballs. It was the first time he had thrown off a mound since he last pitched in a game, on June 6.
It's uncertain whether the two-way player will pitch again in the majors this season after being sidelined by a sprained right elbow. He was 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA in nine starts, striking out 61 in 49 1/3 innings.
"He has to make sure he's continuing to move forward and evaluate him afterwards," manager Mike Scioscia said before the Angels played Oakland. "Right now, there hasn't been any adjustments. He's been terrific. I think he's feeling very, very comfortable with the fact that everything is sound in his elbow. As we continue to test it in the next couple of weeks, we'll get a better idea of where it is."
Ohtani was put on the disabled list on June 8. He has returned to the lineup as a designated hitter for the Angels and done well, batting .273 with 12 home runs and 32 RBIs. In his last seven games, he's batting .360 with three home runs, seven RBIs and three stolen bases.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports