Among the young core of the Los Angeles Angels is left-hander Patrick Sandoval, who, by all accounts, figures to be a piece to their plans in their transition phase over the next few years.
His own development within the organization hasn’t been without the common highs and lows of a young starting pitcher, but has also been privy to having some influential players to aid him along the way. Shohei Ohtani is one to pinpoint, because of the example he set, both in his process and production.
The two have been teammates since Sandoval joined the big league roster in 2019, and pitching in the same rotation for five seasons, a comradery builds. In what is a step-back season across the board in the statistics department, the southpaw explained that there’s been more to it than just numbers.
Sandoval tied in a lot of what he’s learned to seeing Ohtani go about his business, blossoming into the superstar he’s become, per Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“It was a blessing to watch him grow and become the player he is,” Sandoval said. “I watched him work every day, and it helped me out a lot. Just watching him prepare for games and get his body right and the way he goes about his work. He’s ultra-professional, and I admire the way he works.”
There aren’t many better examples to observe than Ohtani, as his instinct, preparation, and execution are second-to-none. The 26-year-old Sandoval has a lot of career to be played, and the respect in which he speaks of his teammate is more of the same for the two-way star.
Angels manager Phil Nevin has been one of the more vocal members of the team in how Ohtani’s example sets the tone for much of the club, and his tenacity speaks for itself.
Angels announce Shohei Ohtani undergoes elbow procedure
Ohtani underwent surgery on Tuesday, shortly after it was announced that he would not return as a hitter for the remainder of the 2023 season as well due an oblique injury. And in the statement, Dr. Neal ElAttrache explained that Ohtani did not need a complete reconstruction of the ligament.
Tommy John is the common name for a UCL reconstruction that typically occurs after a tear of the ligament. Ohtani underwent TJ in 2018 and would not return as a full-time pitcher until 2021, his first MVP season — he’s on track to win his second this season.
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