After a phenomenal season, the Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani has been unable to overcome the injury bug.
The Angels announced on Sunday (July 17) that they have placed Ohtani on the 10-day disabled list (IL) and plan to keep him out of action for the remainder of the season. The Angels have 14 games remaining, including today’s game against the Detroit Tigers.
Earlier, local media in the United States reported that Ohtani cleaned up his locker room after the game against the Detroit Tigers on the 16th. According to the LA Times, all of his equipment, including his shoes, was put away.
There was some speculation among reporters that Ohtani was done for the season prematurely, but the Angels declined to comment, saying they would “provide updated information as it becomes available.” As recently as last week, Angels manager Phil Nevin kept the door open for Ohtani’s return, even predicting that he could return on the 17th or 18th, but ultimately, Ohtani’s return never materialized.
In his first big league season in 2018, Ohtani made waves with his two-hit performance, hitting 20 home runs in his rookie campaign while also starting 10 games on the mound. He struggled for two years, but in 2021, his talents began to fully blossom and he quickly established himself as a top-level player in the big leagues.
It was 2021 that marked the beginning of the end for Ohtani, who had a successful season as both a hitter and pitcher, batting .257 with 138 hits in 158 games and 537 at-bats, 46 home runs, 100 RBIs, and a .964 OPS, and as a pitcher, going 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA in 23 games and 130⅓ innings. The “cartoonish” began to become a reality.
The following year, he surprised everyone by batting .273 with 160 hits in 157 games and 586 at-bats, 34 homers and 95 RBIs, an OPS of .875, and a 15-9 record with a 2.33 ERA in 28 games and 166 innings as a pitcher. Double-digit home runs and wins in the big leagues is no easy feat. Ohtani made it happen.
With a faster body than ever before, Ohtani competed in the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March and helped Japan’s national team. He made his presence felt with a two-hitter, leading Japan to victory and earning tournament MVP honors. The 2023 WBC was where he really showed his worth.
No sooner had the celebration worn off than Ohtani rejoined the Angels and began preparing for the 2023 season. There was a lot of concern around him about his health, but he showed he was still healthy, going 4-7 with a home run in April alone. He seemed to slow down in May, batting .243 with eight home runs and 20 RBIs, but his consistent home run production helped him become the first player in major league history to record back-to-back 10-win seasons and a single-season 10-win, 40-homer campaign.
But then came the unexpected setbacks: a nail injury and blisters on his fingers in July prevented him from performing at 100 percent on the mound, and on April 4, he left a game against the Seattle Mariners after just four innings with finger cramps. A “yellow light” was turned on for Ohtani’s health.
Eventually, the concern came to fruition in the first game of a doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds on March 24. Ohtani started the game and was quickly removed after pitching 1⅓ innings when he felt unwell. The team chalked it up to “arm fatigue,” but a medical examination revealed a torn UCL in his right elbow. ‘Pitcher’ Ohtani’s 2023 season was over.
Having already undergone surgery in 2018, Ohtani debated whether or not to have surgery, but ultimately decided that he would continue to play the rest of the season as a ‘hitter’. Ohtani has asked to be included in the lineup every game since his injury, and Nevin has emphasized that he wants to play.
Ohtani has already shown a lot this season. On the mound, he went 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA in 23 games and 132 innings, and at the plate, he lived up to everyone’s expectations with a .304 batting average with 151 hits in 135 games and 497 at-bats, 44 home runs, 95 RBIs, and a 1.066 OPS. He’s still the closest thing to an American League Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.토토사이트
Wanting to play out the season, Ohtani continued to play, but on September 5, he felt a soreness in his side while taking batting practice before a game against the Baltimore Orioles. The game against the Oakland Athletics on September 4 would be Ohtani’s final game of the season.
With the decision to end his season, Ohtani now has a big decision to make. The time to decide whether or not to have elbow surgery is fast approaching. He will be eligible for free agency after the season, so there’s a good chance he’ll start the 2024 season in a uniform other than the Angels’.
“If he has the surgery, it affects his upcoming contract because he likely won’t pitch in the 2024 season,” MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, reported. “He’s still expected to sign a record contract, and his agent, Nez Valero, said that ‘even if Ohtani has the surgery, he’ll be ready to hit in the 2024 opener.’” It remains to be seen what choice Ohtani will make.