The AL Rookie of the Year had Tommy John surgery Oct. 1 to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The first player to hit 20 homers and make 10 pitching appearances in the same season since Babe Ruth, Ohtani is not expected to pitch this year but the Angels would like to have his bat in the lineup.
"We're thinking May, sometime in May, but that's assuming everything goes well," new manager Brad Ausmus said Tuesday. "This is new territory. We're dealing with a guy who DH's on a regular basis and is a starting pitcher. It's new territory in rehabbing a Tommy John surgery, and we want to protect him long-term being able to do both. If we have to push it back, we'll push it back."
Ohtani has been swinging without hitting a ball. He has yet to hit off a batting tee, Ausmus said.
"He's going to want to get on the field quickly because he wants to compete," Ausmus said.
NOTES: The Angels also are monitoring Albert Pujols' return from left knee surgery on Aug. 29. The first baseman had a debridement, during which damaged tissue was removed.
"Albert is doing everything right now," Ausmus said. "We'll have discussions with him on how he's feeling regularly."