Will the 2023 season of ‘baseball genius’ Shohei Ohtani (29, LA Angels) end like this?
American media, including the official Major League Baseball website (MLB.com), reported on the 16th (Korean time) that “Ohtani’s locker, which was currently in the Angels clubhouse, has been removed.”
With this news, there are already expectations that Ohtani will not play for the remainder of the season. The Angels plan to announce their official position on this on the 17th.토토사이트
Ohtani appeared as a starting pitcher and designated hitter in the first game of a double header against the Cincinnati Reds on the 23rd of last month. Ohtani, who hit a home run in his first at-bat in the bottom of the first inning, felt unwell while pitching in the top of the second inning and sent an ‘SOS’ sign to the bench. After finally coming off the mound, Ohtani underwent a detailed examination at the hospital and was diagnosed with damage to his right elbow ligaments.
As a result, Ohtani, who had ended his season as a pitcher, decided to play as a hitter under the belief that the injured part did not significantly affect his batting. Ohtani’s will was strong enough to start as a designated hitter in the second game of the doubleheader against Cincinnati that day.
But even this did not last long. Ohtani failed to add a single home run in the next 10 games. And in the game against the Oakland Athletics on the 4th, he disappeared after giving up no hits in 3 at-bats and 2 walks. This time, my side was in trouble. This game still remains Ohtani’s last game of the 2023 season. Angels manager Phil Nevin repeatedly said, “Ohtani always wants to play,” but there was a growing possibility that Ohtani would not return and finish this season. It appears that the Angels’ announcement on the 17th will also be related to injuries.
Ohtani’s journey this season was great. As a hitter, he appeared in 135 games and recorded a batting average of .304, an on-base percentage of .412, a slugging percentage of .654, an OPS of 1.066, with 44 home runs, 95 RBIs, and 20 stolen bases, and he still ranks first in the American League in home runs and on-base percentage. As a pitcher, he appeared in 23 games, pitched 132 innings, and showed himself as a top starting pitcher with 10 wins, 5 losses, and an ERA of 3.14.
What will happen in the future if Otani’s 2023 season ends like this? There are certainly several issues to watch with interest.
First of all, attention is focused on whether Ohtani will win the American League MVP award even if the season ends early. Regarding this, Japanese sports media ‘Sports Hochi’ said, “Even if Ohtani does not play in the future, he is ahead of Lewis Robert (Chicago White Sox), who is second in the American League for home runs, by 9, and with the White Sox only 14 games left, he will become the first Japanese major leaguer to become the home run king. This is certain. In addition, with 10 wins and 44 home runs, the possibility of winning the American League MVP seems strong. In addition, he reached the .300 batting average for the first time in the six years since entering the major league, and achieved personal best performances in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and base hits.” predicted.
Whether Otani will be on the operating table in the future is an issue that remains to be seen. Ohtani needs to undergo Tommy John surgery due to damage to his elbow ligaments, but he has not yet decided whether to undergo surgery. Attention is being paid to what choice Ohtani, who has already undergone Tommy John surgery in 2018, will make.
Coincidentally, Ohtani will become a free agent after this season. Ohtani, who has already been classified as the ‘biggest free agent’, is considered the only candidate to break Mike Trout’s record for the highest contract of all time. Trout signed a 12-year, $426.5 million long-term contract with the Angels, and last summer, when Ohtani was at his peak, local media even predicted that “a $500-$600 million contract is possible.”
However, given that it is virtually impossible for him to play as a pitcher next year, it seems likely that Ohtani’s value will fall more than expected. Still, it is expected that he will be treated as at least a top hitter in the free agent market. Aaron Judge, who set a new American League record for the most home runs in a season last year, signed a new free agent contract with the New York Yankees and received a huge 9-year, $360 million deal. There are predictions that Ohtani will also receive low-level treatment as the minimum hitter.
Of course, this is a prospect that comes under the condition that Ohtani can play a full season as a hitter next season. What kind of announcement will the Angels make on the 17th? Attention is already focused.