Shohei Ohtani (29, LA Angels) is finally going under the knife. An elbow injury ended his season early as a pitcher, and he fought tooth and nail to continue his season as a hitter, but an oblique muscle injury ended his season as a hitter as well.
Ohtani’s agent, Nez Valero, announced on Tuesday (July 20) that Ohtani underwent elbow surgery earlier in the day. As for the reasoning behind the surgery, he explained that it was a “big-picture decision,” given the stage of Ohtani’s career. Ohtani reportedly continued to consider how he could continue his dual career.
This season, Ohtani started 23 games on the mound, posting a 10-5 record, 132 innings pitched, 167 strikeouts, and a 3.14 ERA. However, he was pulled from a game against the Cincinnati Reds on March 24 after just 1⅓ innings and hasn’t touched a ball since, as tests revealed damage to his elbow ligaments.
Dr. Neil Elatrache, who performed Ohtani’s surgery, said, “After careful consideration with Ohtani, the final conclusion was to address the problem at hand, reinforce the healthy ligaments and add tissue to prolong the life of the elbow. He will be fully healed by Opening Day 2024 and will be able to play without any restrictions as a hitter. A two-hitter will be possible starting in the 2025 season.”
“Ohtani is currently resting and preparing to begin his rehabilitation,” Valero said.
Ohtani was out of the starting lineup for 11 straight games before being placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained oblique muscle on April 18. He tried to continue his season as a hitter, but decided to go under the knife as he weighed his long-term future, packing up his locker in the Angels’ clubhouse on Nov. 16. As Ohtani emptied his locker of his belongings, there was a flurry of speculation that he would part ways with the Angels in free agency. 메이저사이트
Despite the injury that ended his season early, Ohtani is still a strong candidate for American League MVP. In 135 games this season, he hit .304 with a 1.066 OPS, 44 home runs, and 95 RBIs. If he hadn’t been injured, he would have challenged for the major league lead in home runs by the end of the season.
Despite this, Ohtani still leads the league in a number of hitting metrics. He leads the majors in OPS and the American League in home runs. He’s eight home runs behind second-place Lewis Roberts (White Sox), who has 36. If Robert doesn’t catch him in the rest of the season, Ohtani will become the first Japanese major leaguer to win the home run title.