The Angels are in a bit of a tailspin.They had lost 13 of their past 17 games heading into Friday’s game vs. the Orioles. They’dfallen to .500 overall (41-41), 10 games out of a wild-card spot and 13 1/2games behind the Astros in the American League https://www.cubsedge.com/chicago-cubs/kerry-wood-jersey West, in fourth place in the division. All this despite Mike Trout playing like the future Hall of Famer that he certainly is: He hit .382 in those 17 games.So, yeah, this franchise needed a bit of good news. And Thursday’s news that Shohei Ohtani is on the way back to the batter’s box feels like good news, right?DEADLINE DECISIONS: Angels one of five teams needing to make choicesIn 34 games as a designated hitter, Ohtani is batting .289 with a .907 OPS and six homers. He quickly put aside the preseason concerns that he would be overmatched in his transition from Japan to the majors. Ohtani has shown that he isn’t just major league-caliber as a hitter, he’s All-Star caliber as a hitter.The Angels need another All-Star caliber hitter in the lineup. General manager Billy Eppler said during a Thursday teleconference that Ohtani would resume batting practice immediately and would face live pitching soon. There’s no exact timetable for when he could return to the lineup, but that doesn’t feel too far off.Here’s the team’s official update, from its media game notes Friday:OHTANI UPDATE: Shohei Ohtani (10-day DL; Grade 2 sprain of ulnar collateral ligament in right elbow) received a stem cell platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection June 7th. Yesterday an MRI revealed improvements to the UCL in the elbow. He will begin a hitting progre sion immediately. Depending on day-to-day progre s, Ohtani could see live pitching as early as this weekend. He will not partake on a minor league rehab a signment but rather hit in a controlled environment. In approximately three weeks, he will be re-a se sed to see if he can pitch this season.Good news, right?Eppler indicated during https://www.cubsedge.com/chicago-cubs/fergie-jenkins-jersey the teleconference that Ohtani’s return to hitting won’t have any impact on the timetable for his po sible return to pitching. The question hanging over this entire i sue has been related to Tommy John surgery:Would he need it, as was first speculated?OHTANI TRACKER: Inside the phenom’s rookie seasonAt this point in the summer, TJ surgery would mean Ohtani would be out until at least late in the 2019 season, but most likely until early in the 2020 season, so, yes, it’s important to avoid that, which is why the team and Ohtani opted for a platelet-rich plasma injection instead.I’ll admit Jason Heyward Jersey , though, that this line from Eppler gave me pause: “No doctor has told me that Shohei needs surgical intervention at this time.”Maybe it’s just me, but that’s not exactly rea suring. It’s entirely po sible that it was just a wording i sue, but wouldn’t it have sounded better had Eppler said: Doctors have told me Shohei will not need surgical intervention”?That just doesn’t sound confident, especially the “at this time”part.The doctorswill reevaluate in three weeks. Again, it’s reasonable to think that,although the timeline isn’t set, Ohtani will be back in the Angels’lineup by then, if the hitting part progre ses well.I hope these three weeks go well for the Angels. They need Ohtani back in the lineup. Baseball’s fun when Ohtani is hitting home runs and spraying line drives around the ballpark. I gue s I’m just a bit more apprehensive about this “good news” than other people.