As far as Shohei Ohtani is concerned, as of now, he's still a two-way player.
Ohtani won't pitch again this season after suffering a forearm strain during his start on Sunday, and the injury again raised questions about whether he can continue in both roles long term. But for the first time, the Los Angeles Angels star admitted he'd at least discuss choosing one role if his team asked.
"Ideally, if it comes down to them telling me to just focus on hitting or focus on one thing pitching, I will listen," Ohtani told reporters Wednesday, according to Tim Booth of The Associated Press. "But ideally, I would like to leave the window open for me to do both.
"If the possibility is there, I still want to try (pitching). The Angels signed me thinking I'm going to be a two-way player. I just need to get healthy, back on the mound and try to accomplish it."
He was a revelation in his rookie season as MLB's first true two-way player in a century, but Tommy John surgery halted Ohtani's progress as a pitcher and forced him into a strict DH role last year. His return to pitching didn't nearly go as planned, allowing seven earned runs in his two starts this year while recording only five outs. He displayed decreased velocity in his outing on Sunday against Houston.
The forearm injury will shut Ohtani down from throwing for at least four-to-six weeks. It won't prevent him from hitting, and he'll likely return to the lineup in the DH spot on Thursday.
Manager Joe Maddon said Tuesday that he believes Ohtani can resume pitching with a proper spring training in 2021. But the 26-year-old isn't thinking about that right now, and he'll only turn his focus back to the mound after this season ends.
"I need to focus on this season right now. The only way for me to contribute is hitting, so I need to focus on it," Ohtani said. "Once we hit the offseason and go into a normal offseason, normal throwing program, I'll try and ramp it up."