Shohei Ohtani’s season with the LA Angels has come to an unfortunate end. The talented player, known as a ‘double-edged sword’ due to his ability as both a pitcher and hitter, had already ceased pitching earlier in the season due to an elbow injury. Now, he has been sidelined entirely due to a side injury.
The Angels held a press conference on the 17th to announce Ohtani’s decision. The team stated, “Ohtani has made the difficult choice to end his season due to ongoing pain in his right side muscles. He will also undergo surgery on his elbow in preparation for next year.” This comes after Ohtani suffered ligament damage in his right elbow in late August, leading him to solely play as a hitter. However, he encountered a side injury earlier this month, forcing him to miss his 11th game.
Speculation of Ohtani’s season-ending injury arose when his locker in the Angels’ stadium had already been cleared out the day before.
Despite the setback, Ohtani has had an impressive season. As a batter, he boasts a .304 batting average and 44 home runs. As a pitcher, he has notched 10 wins, 5 losses, and a 3.14 earned run average. Currently, Ohtani holds a nine-home-run lead over Luis Robert of the Chicago White Sox in the American League home run rankings, making him a strong contender for the title of home run king, even if the season ends early.
This unfortunate turn of events raises questions about Ohtani’s future with the Angels. After six years with the team, from his big league debut in 2018 until now, it’s highly likely that their relationship will come to an end. While Ohtani has achieved accolades such as Rookie of the Year in 2018 and Best Player of the League in 2021, his strong desire to win the World Series has him considering a transfer to a winning team as a free agent after this season. The Angels, who last won the World Series in 2002 and have failed to advance to the postseason for eight consecutive years, are not giving up hope. General Manager Perry Minassian expressed his hope that Ohtani would remain with the team, saying, “I think Ohtani has had a great time here.”
However, uncertainties surrounding Ohtani’s future value have arisen due to his injuries. Prior to his current setbacks, there were predictions that he could surpass a total contract worth $500 million in the free-agent market. However, with the prospect of elbow surgery, it may be challenging for him to continue as a pitcher next year. Furthermore, since he has already undergone elbow surgery once after the 2018 season, it remains unclear whether he will fully recover his skills after this latest operation. Despite this, Ohtani’s agent has defended his value by stating, “Even with elbow surgery, he can play full-time as a hitter next year.” Following his 2018 elbow surgery, Ohtani exclusively played as a hitter in 2019, hitting 18 home runs in 106 games.
With Ohtani’s incredible talent and potential, his season-ending injuries are undoubtedly disappointing. Fans and baseball enthusiasts will keenly await his recovery and future plans, all while hoping that he can continue to mesmerize the baseball world with his exceptional skills.
Shohei Ohtani played against the Oakland Athletics on the 3rd of this month. He stopped as a pitcher due to an elbow injury and appeared only as a hitter, but ended up being out for the season entirely due to side pain. /AP Yonhap News
Shohei Otani (29, LA Angels), a ‘double-edged sword’ who had stopped pitching due to an elbow injury, was out for the season entirely due to a side injury. The Angels team held a press conference on the 17th and said, “Ohtani has decided to end this season due to continued pain in his right side muscles,” and added, “He has decided to undergo surgery on his elbow for next year.” Ohtani suffered ligament damage in his right elbow in late August and stopped pitching, playing only as a hitter. He also suffered a side injury earlier this month, missing his 11th game. The day before, Otani’s locker room at the Angels’ stadium had already been emptied, leading to speculation that he would be out for the season. Ohtani’s performance this season is a .304 batting average and 44 home runs as a batter, and 10 wins and 5 losses and a 3.14 earned run average as a pitcher. Currently, he is 9 ahead of 2nd place Luis Robert (Chicago White Sox) in the American League home run rankings, so there is still a possibility of winning the title of home run king even if the season ends early .
It is highly likely that the relationship between Ohtani and the Angels will end this way. Ohtani worked for the Angels for six years from his big league debut in 2018 until this year. As a batter, he had a career batting average of .274 and 171 home runs, and as a pitcher, he had 38 wins, 19 losses, and an earned run average of 3.01. He received awards such as Rookie of the Year (2018) and Best Player of the League (2021). Nevertheless, he has a strong desire to win the World Series and aims to transfer to a winning team as a free agent after this season. The Angels last won the World Series in 2002, and failed to advance to the fall baseball season for eight consecutive years from 2015 to last year. This year, they are only in 4th place in the American League West, making it almost impossible to advance to the postseason. But the Angels are not giving up hope. “I think Ohtani has had a great time here,” Minassian Angels general manager Perry said. “I hope it stays,” he said.
Before Ohtani’s injury, there were many predictions that he would become the first player in the free agent market to exceed the total contract of $ 500 million (about 660 billion won). However, injuries are a factor. If he has elbow surgery, it will be difficult for him to work as a pitcher next year, and since he has already had elbow surgery once after the 2018 season, it is unclear whether he will regain his skills full after this operation. Agent Ohtani defended the player’s value, saying, “Even if he has elbow surgery, he can play full-time as a hitter next year.” After undergoing elbow surgery in 2018, Ohtani only appeared as a hitter in 2019 hitting 18 home runs in 106 games.
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