Angels' Superstar Shohei Ohtani Shut Down For Season, Surgery Looms

Photo: Instagram/Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani's 2023 season has come to an abrupt end as the Los Angeles Angels made the somber announcement that he's been placed on the 10-day injured list due to an oblique injury.

This unfortunate development means that Ohtani will not grace the baseball field again this year. The evidence of his premature departure was stark as his locker at Angel Stadium was emptied, and his water bottle discarded following the team's disheartening loss to the Detroit Tigers, with a final score of 11-2 in favor of Detroit.

General Manager Perry Minasian revealed that Ohtani is scheduled for elbow surgery in the near future, though the specifics remain undisclosed. It's worth noting that Ohtani has been dealing with a torn ligament in his right elbow, a condition that often necessitates Tommy John surgery, although alternative procedures are available for certain cases.

Photo: Instagram/Shohei Ohtani

Ohtani's absence from the lineup dates back to September 3 due to the oblique injury, with the Angels initially listing him as day-to-day since he sustained the injury during batting practice on September 4. Despite his unwavering desire to play, recent days saw him confined to pregame workouts, unable to participate in actual games.

The news of Ohtani's cleared locker came shortly after third baseman Anthony Rendon disclosed his fractured tibia, a condition previously described by the team as a bone bruise. Rendon has been sidelined since July 4, raising questions about the Angels' transparency regarding player injuries.

With his season cut short, it's probable that Ohtani has played his final game in an Angels uniform, given his impending free agency and expressed desire to join a competitive team. Despite the looming elbow surgery, Ohtani is expected to be a highly sought-after free agent, potentially commanding a deal worth around $500 million.

The sooner he undergoes surgery, the quicker he can return to the field, initially as a hitter and later as a pitcher. Ohtani's remarkable 2023 season statistics include a batting line of .304/.412/.654 with an impressive 44 home runs, making him the AL leader in this category.

He also contributed on the mound, amassing 132 innings with a 3.14 ERA and an impressive 167 strikeouts. His exceptional performance this season has propelled him to the top of the leaderboard with a 10.0 WAR, making a strong case for this three-year period (2021-2023) to be regarded as one of the greatest in baseball history.

Ohtani remains the frontrunner for the 2023 AL MVP award, which would mark his second career MVP accolade. As for the Angels, their 2023 campaign has been disappointing, with a record of 68-80 and a substantial 13.5-game deficit in the wild-card race, making postseason aspirations a distant dream.

The team's postseason drought since 2014 and the lack of a winning record during Ohtani's tenure further underscore their challenges in building a competitive roster.

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Source: CBS Sports


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