The writing was on the wall for some time now: due to a torn UCL and a strained oblique, it was clear that Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani wasn’t healthy enough to play.
And, since his team wasn’t really in contention anymore, Ohtani was shut down.
Still, he is one of the most competitive athletes ever to step on a baseball field, and he probably wanted to play until the end.
It’s best for him and his upcoming free agency to rest and try to get healthy as soon as possible.
That means getting elbow surgery, because the oblique will heal with time.
Well, it wasn’t going to get better until he went under the knife.
Now, he will be back as a hitter in time for spring training, and as a pitcher in 2025.
Ohtani shared some words with his fans via his Instagram account.
Shohei Ohtani shared a message on Instagram Tuesday after having season-ending elbow surgery. pic.twitter.com/UUP3iz2XNe
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 19, 2023
He informed his fans about the elbow procedure, thanked them for the support and clarified that while he wanted to finish out the season, he will be supporting his teammates until the end and intends to get on the field as soon as possible.
The only blemish to the Angels in this case is that the exact nature of the procedure wasn’t specified.
One would assume it was Tommy John (he had a torn UCL, after all), but that would put him on a 9-10 month timetable, thus making it impossible for him to be ready for 2024 Opening Day.
Perhaps the UCL tear was partial and he can return quicker than, say, Jasson Dominguez (who was given the 9-10 month timetable as a hitter).
In any case, Ohtani’s 2023 campaign is over, but thanks to his 3.14 ERA, 167 strikeouts, and 44 homers as a hitter (not to mention his 1.066 OPS) he is likely to win the AL MVP award anyway.NEXT: Mike Trout And Shohei Ohtani Headline Frustrating MLB List