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Los Angeles Angels SP / DH Shohei Ohtani suffered Torn Elbow and can’t Pitch the Remainder of the Season
On Wednesday, August 23rd, 2023 the Los Angeles Angels announced that their starting pitcher / designated hitter, Shohei Ohtani, has a tear in the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Ohtani will be unable to pitch again for the remainder of the 2023 MLB season according to the Los Angeles Angels general manager, Perry Minasian, in a shocking twist in the lead - up to arguably the most highly - anticipated free agency market in Major League Baseball history.
Ohtani exited his start in the first game of a doubleheader between the Los Angeles Angels and the Cincinnati Reds earlier last Wednesday, August 23rd, 2023 where Shohei recorded only four outs while throwing just a total of 26 - pitches throughout that game. Later on, a subsequent MRI revealed the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow in which Minasian revealed that he did not know the severity of it this recent injury to Shohei.
Nonetheless the highly - promoted pitcher / designated hitter insisted on playing for the L. A. Angels as just the designated hitter during the second game of the double header, as Shohei went 1 - for - 5 in the Los Angeles Angels' 7 to 3 defeat against the Cincinnati Reds, and he looks to get a secondary opinion to determine the next steps in his recovery right as Ohtani is scheduled to hit the MLB’s free agency market.
How to Repair Shohei Ohtani’s Throwing Arm
One option for Ohtani would be Tommy John surgery in order to repair the damaged elbow of the Japanese star player. The Tommy John surgery he already underwent on his right elbow back in October of 2018, and that possibility would keep Shohei off the bump for the Los Angeles Angels for the entirety of the 2024 MLB season. That development that would majorly affect the free agent sweepstakes that most baseball analysts anticipate to pull in a $500 million or larger contract for this once in a lifetime ball player.
"As far as plans and details, I don't have those yet," Minasian stated to the major sports media outlets at the Los Angeles Angels Stadium earlier this week. "I've been in contact with his representation. Obviously, he hit the second game. He's played with this, in '18, but with that being said we'll take it day by day and see where it goes. Obviously disappointing news. I feel terrible for him. But it is what it is. If anybody can bounce back, it's him."
The Los Angeles Angels presently decided not to trade Shohei as they try to sign him to a new contract extension sometime soon, and the Los Angeles Angels have recently went 5 and 16 since the August 1st, 2023 Major League Baseball trade deadline. The Los Angeles Angels are on pace for a franchise - record 8th - consecutive overall losing season. Their ball club is riding a 4 - game losing streak at the moment, and their other big - name superstar in Mike Trout, who just came back from a recent 7 - week absence because of a hamate fracture earlier during this week, and Trout will return to the MLB’s injured list due to his attempts to swing in last Tuesday's game "didn't go well," according to Minasian.
The Los Angeles Angels can at least hold on to the hope that Mike will eventually return to the Los Angeles Angels starting line - up during the 2023 MLB season. Shohei, at least as a pitcher, will not be available to throw for the Halos for at least the remainder of this big - league ball season.
Other Health Issues for Shohei Ohtani
Ohtani has previously fought off a cracked nail as well as a nasty blister on his right middle finger. Throughout recent weeks, Shohei also has managed his health through severe cramping issues, and Ohtani requested to sit out his previous starting pitching assignment due to what the Los Angeles Angels’ manager, Phil Nevin, described as extreme, "arm fatigue." It is the same term the Los Angeles Angels originally used to explain the reason for Shohei's early exit from the ball game last Wednesday, and that was Ohtani’s first starting pitching assignment over the course of the past 14 - days or so. Shohei’s incredible fastball was down to an average of 93.1 miles per hour (MPH).
Minasian mentioned that the Los Angeles Angels were unaware of any physical issues prior to last Wednesday.
"He never complained about anything," Minasian added about the Los Angeles Angels superstar pitcher and hitter, Ohtani, who was not made available to the sports news reporters. "He had cramps, he was dehydrated, but today is the day. He came out of the game and said, 'Hey, I've got pain in the elbow area.' It's the first day we've heard of any type of pain."
The now 29 - year - old Ohtani, was initially diagnosed with a grade - 2 sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in June of his rookie MLB season back in 2018, and he hoped to battle the need for Tommy John surgery with platelet - rich plasma as well as stem - cell therapy to remedy his throwing arm.
Shohei lasted in the Los Angeles Angels starting pitching rotation / lineup throughout that overall rehab process, then he was told he needed Tommy John surgery on September 5th as he hit 2 - home runs later on that night. Ohtani put off the procedure until the early part of that MLB offseason while spending all of 2019 rehabbing his arm as a pitcher, but he was available as a full - time designated hitter and struggled in both aspects during the COVID - 19 - shortened - fan - less - season back in 2020.
Ohtani’s prowess as a two - way phenom began back during the 2021 MLB season (a year that saw him win the American League's Most Valuable Player Award unanimously). Shohei would have won the AL MVP Award once again for his performance throughout the 2022 MLB season if it was not for Aaron Judge's record - setting home run campaign with the New York Yankees last year. In 2023, Ohtani was definitely looking like the easy favorite to win the American League's Most Valuable Player Award again even though the Los Angeles Angels are once again in the familiar spot of being out of the MLB postseason picture, and even with another UCL tear ruling him out as a pitcher for the final 6 - weeks of the 2023 MLB regular - season.
Shohei, who hit his major league - leading 44th - home run just moments prior to exiting his starting pitching performance last Wednesday, August 23rd, 2023 was hitting an astonishing .304 / .405 / .664 this year, but he also was carrying a respectable ERA of 3.14 to go along with his 167 - strikeouts over the course of his 132 - total innings pitched so far this year. Ohtani’s 8.7 wins above replacement (WAR) easily leads Major League Baseball during the 2023 MLB season at this point in time.
The Los Angeles Angels, who were off on last Thursday, August 24th, 2023, still do not know whether Shohei will be able to help his major league ball club at the plate for the rest of the 2023 MLB season.
"We're going to go day to day and just see how it goes, see how he feels," Minasian goes on to say. "I think as we get more information, as far as recovery time and all those types of things, we'll have more information down the road."
Ohtani’s Baseball Career Achievements, Honors, & Awards
- Japan Series Champion (2016)
- 5 - Time NPB All - Star Selection (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
- Pacific League MVP Award Winner (2016)
- 2 - Time Pacific League Pitcher Best Nine (2015, 2016)
- Designated Hitter Best Nine (2016)
- Pacific League ERA Leader (2015)
- Pacific League Battery Award Winner, with Shota Ono (2015)
- 2 - Time Japan Professional Sports Grand Prize Award Winner (2016, 2018)
- WBSC Player of the Year Award Winner (2015)
- 3 - Time All - Star Selection (2021, 2022, 2023)
- American League MVP Award Winner (2021)
- 2 - Time All - MLB First Team Selection (2021, 2022)
- 2 - Time All - MLB Second Team Selection (2021, 2022)
- American League Rookie of the Year Award Winner (2018)
- Silver Slugger Award Winner (2021)
- 2 - Time Edgar Martínez Award Winner (2021, 2022)
- American League Triples Leader (2021)
- Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award Winner (2021)
- Hit for the Cycle on June 13th, 2019
- Associated Press Athlete of the Year Award Winner (2021)
- World Baseball Classic MVP Award Winner (2023)
- All - World Baseball Classic Team Selection (2023)
“Angels' Shohei Ohtani has elbow tear, won't pitch again this season”, Alden Gonzalez, espn.com, August 24, 2023.
“Shohei Ohtani”, baseball-reference.com, August 24, 2023.
Written by: David Green