Shohei Ohtani returned to the Angels lineup on May 7, following a lengthy recovery from offseason Tommy John surgery. He has not pitched and will not return to the mound this season, but he’s been back in the middle of the Angels lineup now for six of their last seven games, in time for the Angels to put together a nice 5–2 run. Mostly they’d done that without much help from Ohtani—he was putting up a sorry .482 OPS with zero extra base hits headed into Monday night’s game agains the Minnesota Twins.
With a runner on in the top of the third inning, Twins starter José Berríos left a 3–1 fastball up over the plate, and Ohtani pounded the absolute hell out of it, flashing the opposite field slugging might we’ve come to love:
This was a strong blast from a guy who hadn’t had a single extra-base hit yet on the season:
It was part of a 2-for-3 night for Ohtani, with a couple RBI and a couple walks. Ohtani’s body was all torn up and full of crab meat during his rookie season, but the homer power was a constant. He smashed huge dingers before his elbow injury, and he smashed huge dingers after the elbow injury but pre-surgery, and now, post-surgery, he’s back to smashing huge dingers. Hell yeah.