Despite the fact that the Major League Baseball (MLB) regular season has not yet ended, two-hitting superstar Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim has cleaned out his locker in the clubhouse, U.S. and Japanese media reported on Saturday (Aug. 16).
The Angels said they would announce more details on Sunday, adding to the speculation that Ohtani’s season could end early.
MLB.com and Japan’s Nikkan Sports reported that Ohtani had missed 11 consecutive games until the team’s game against the Detroit Tigers on Sunday, and that a large bag with his belongings was placed in front of his locker after the game.
Ohtani, who started the season with a bang as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) after leading Japan to the World Baseball Classic (WBC) title in March, stopped pitching in late August after being diagnosed with ligament damage in his right elbow.
Ohtani, who has been focusing on hitting since then, was unable to bat after complaining of pain in his right side on Sept. 5.
U.S. media outlets are reporting that Ohtani will have to go under the knife on his right elbow for the second time. Ohtani had elbow ligament splicing surgery (Tommy John surgery) in 2018.
His elbow and side are both bothering him, and he may not be able to finish the season with 14 games left in the regular season.
Ohtani, who is eligible for free agency after this season, was expected to become the first player in MLB history to sign an astronomical contract worth more than $500 million, but the elbow injury, which will require more than a year of rehabilitation after surgery, has significantly reduced his expected salary.
As of Sept. 16, Ohtani was batting fourth in the American League in batting average (0.304), first in home runs (44), tied for fourth in RBIs (95), and second in OPS (1.066), and was putting together MVP-caliber performances as a pitcher with a 10-5 record and 3.14 ERA. 파워볼게임