In a shocking turn of events, the Los Angeles Angels have announced that Shohei Ohtani’s remarkable season has come to an abrupt end. Ohtani, the two-way sensation who has taken the baseball world by storm, has been placed on the 10-day injured list due to an oblique injury, dashing the hopes of fans and leaving a cloud of uncertainty hanging over his future.
It was a somber scene at Angel Stadium as Ohtani‘s locker was cleared out, and his water bottle found its place in the trash can following the team’s devastating loss to the Detroit Tigers (DET 11, LAA 2). General Manager Perry Minasian delivered the disheartening news to reporters, revealing that Ohtani will undergo a procedure on his elbow, adding to the list of concerns for the young superstar.
Ohtani has not graced the field since September 3rd, sidelined by the troublesome oblique injury. Initially, the Angels had listed him as day-to-day after he suffered the injury during batting practice on September 4th. Despite his determination and effort during pregame workouts, Ohtani remained unable to make his much-anticipated return to the game. The MRI results on Friday only deepened the gloom surrounding his situation.
Angels manager Phil Nevin expressed his admiration for Ohtani’s unwavering desire to play, stating, “He’s always wanting to play. He’s just going through his stuff.” These sentiments capture the essence of Ohtani’s dedication to the game, which has endeared him to fans worldwide.
The disheartening news about Ohtani’s injury followed another blow as third baseman Anthony Rendon revealed that he had been battling a fractured tibia, a condition that the team had previously referred to as a bone bruise. Rendon’s absence from the field since July 4th raises concerns about the Angels’ transparency regarding player injuries.
With Ohtani’s season-ending injury, it is increasingly likely that he has played his last game with the Angels. The 29-year-old phenom will become a free agent in the upcoming offseason and has expressed his desire to join a contender—a status that the Angels do not currently hold. Despite the looming elbow surgery, Ohtani remains a highly sought-after player and could command a jaw-dropping contract, potentially approaching $500 million. The sooner he undergoes surgery, the quicker he can return to the field, first as a hitter and later as a pitcher.
Ohtani’s last appearance on Labor Day weekend in Oakland was bittersweet as he went 0 for 3 with two walks, symbolizing the unfortunate end to his remarkable season.
As the curtains fall on Ohtani’s 2023 season, his statistics stand as a testament to his incredible talent. He concludes the season with a .304/.412/.654 batting line and an AL-leading 44 home runs as a hitter. On the pitching front, Ohtani threw 132 innings with a 3.14 ERA and an impressive 167 strikeouts. Notably, he leads all players with a 10.0 WAR, and many argue that his performance over the past three years is the greatest three-year run in baseball history. It comes as no surprise that he remains the favorite to clinch the 2023 AL MVP award, which would mark the second of his career.
As for the Angels, they find themselves in a dire situation with a record of 68-80 and a staggering 13.5 games behind a wild-card spot with only 14 games left to play. It’s a grim reality that they could be eliminated from postseason contention as early as Saturday, further underscoring their struggle to secure a playoff spot. The Angels have not experienced postseason glory since 2014 and have never achieved a winning record during Ohtani’s tenure.
In this unexpected and heart-wrenching turn of events, the baseball world mourns the premature end of Shohei Ohtani’s season. Fans are left to wonder about the future of this exceptional athlete and the impact his absence will have on the Angels’ fortunes. With uncertainty looming over Ohtani’s next chapter, one thing remains certain: his legacy in baseball is far from over, and the world eagerly awaits his triumphant return to the field.