Published on: August 24, 2023, 11:40 am.
Last updated on August 24, 2023, 11:55 am.
Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani suffered an elbow injury and will no longer appear as a pitcher in any games this season.
The Angels have yet to decide whether Ohtani will continue as a spiker this season.
As a left-handed DH, Ohtani reached 0.304/0.405/0.664 in 126 games. He leads first place with 44 home runs and has driven 91 RBIs.
As a right-handed shooter, Ohtani was 10-5 in 23 starts with a 3.14 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. He has also hit 167 hits this season. The batter has hit just 0.184 against Ohtani this season, and he boasts one of the best competitive batting averages in MLB.
Ohtani Has UCL Injury
Ohtani missed several shooting starts this season due to blisters on his shooting hand and a cracked nail injury. He missed more than one start due to recent arm fatigue.
The Angels hosted a doubles match against the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday. Ohtani fired for the first time in two weeks. He threw an excellent ball on the first shot and recorded two hits. At the end of the first half, Ohtani smashed a 442-meter point right center with a single player. The Angels took the lead 2-0.
Ohtani was out once again at the peak of the second inning, but was out of the game after only 26 innings. The angels initially reported arm fatigue as his problem. He didn’t stay in the game as DH.
Ohtani expressed the pain in his right elbow and had an MRI. This resulted in a tear in the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL).
Frankly disappointing news,” said general manager Perry Minasian. “I feel very bad for him. But that’s what it is. If anyone can come back, it’s him.”
Ohtani appeared as DH in the second game of doubleheader and went 5v1.
Another Tommy John surgery for Ohtani?
Ohtani underwent Tommy John surgery to repair his right elbow in 2018. He did not shoot while recovering from surgery in 2019, but took part in 106 games as DH.
During the pandemic, there were legitimate concerns about whether Ohtani would ever shoot again and stop shooting to become a full-time DH. He took part in only two games as a shooter in the 2020 season shortened by the pandemic.
Ohtani wiped out everyone’s worries when he returned to the mound as a regular starting player in the 2021 season. He set a 9-2 record with a 3.18 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 23 games. In 155 games as DH, Ohtani made 46 home runs and drove 100 RBIs. He earned the 2021 AL MVP for his dual success as a shooter and hitter.
Ohtani will seek a second opinion this week about his elbow injury. He or she may try to let the UCL tear heal on its own or have a second Tommy John surgery. If that’s the case, he won’t be on the court next season but can contribute as a batsman and DH.
An elbow injury could affect Ohtani’s next contract. Ohtani is said to be signing a new contract worth $500 million in the final year of his original contract and during his free agency period.
There is no guarantee that Ohtani will re-sign with the Angels. If the Angels trade Ohtani, they can at least get some compensation in return. If the Angels grab him and he jumps, they won’t get anything.
Angels Head for Another Season of Defeat
Angels had to make a difficult decision in July. Without All-Star outfielder Mike Trout on the roster, they were in the AL wildcard bubble. Trout broke his ankle in July and may not return until September.
Team owner Arturo Moreno stated that he would not trade Ohtani if the Angels were in the playoff battle, so the Angels retained their two-way star and made several trades to strengthen the roster. The new players have not helped the Angels, who have been leading 5-16 since the trade deadline.
The Angels are currently 61-67 and six games under .500. They are fourth in AL West and 12 games behind top-ranked Max Scherzer and the Texas Rangers.
With 34 games left, the Angels are 10.5 games behind the AL wildcard race and three teams ahead, including the New York Yankees who exploded after Aaron Judge injured his toe.
If the Angels lose Ohtani as a spiker for the rest of the season, they will have a hard time getting through their eighth consecutive season of defeat.
DraftKings removed the Angels from their “play-offs” bets. But Angels still appears on the futures board as a moon hit to win AL West at odds of +80000. AL West is currently the closest division race in baseball; It’s 1.5 games between the Rangers, the rising Seattle Mariners, and the defending World Series champion Houston Astros.
Ohtani was so ahead of the AL MVP race that most sportsbooks have removed this prop bet from their MLB prize pages. Even if Ohtani missed his last 34 games this season, he remains the biggest favorite to earn his second MVP since 2021.