When will we see Shohei Ohtani (29) of the Los Angeles Angels’ ‘double batting job’ again?메이저사이트
Ohtani will not be on the mound for the time being. On the 24th (Korean time), he started as a starting pitcher and second batter in the first leg of the double header against the Cincinnati Reds in the 2023 Major League Baseball held at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, USA. At the time, he felt discomfort in his right arm after one shot in the second inning.
Indeed, as a result of a checkup, he was diagnosed with a damage to his right ulnar collateral ligament. It has not yet been decided whether or not to undergo surgery, but general manager Perry Minassian has officially announced that “Ohtani will no longer be pitching for the rest of the season.”
According to MLB.com, Ohtani had pre-injury symptoms. The restraints on this day were different from usual. The average velocity of a four-seam fastball season dropped from 156 km to 150 km. The splitters, curveballs, and cutters were also flatter than usual.
Walker Buehler (LA Dodgers), Jacob deGrom (Texas Rangers), James Tyyon (Chicago Cubs), and Nathan Ivaldi (Texas) among the top pitchers in the major leagues have undergone Tommy John surgery and throw their own pitches again.
Because many pitchers have undergone Tommy John surgery, there are optimistic reactions that Ohtani will be able to pitch again. However, Ohtani will be eligible for free agency after this season. In other words, the elbow ligament problem is bound to be a stumbling block at the FA contract negotiation table.
Reporter Mike DiGiovana of the LA Times, a local Los Angeles media outlet, said on social media, “Ohtani’s elbow is damaged. If he undergoes a second Tommy John surgery, he will suffer greatly in his free agent contract this winter.”
MLB.com anonymously looked at major league clubs’ reaction to Ohtani’s injury. According to MLB.com, a National League executive said, “It’s hard to say. No one has ever seen a player like this,” he said. “Now with an injury… ” he blurted out.
Another National League club executive said, “I don’t know if Ohtani can pay for the idea that he can pitch in the long run. He’s still a great hitter. He will be able to pitch in the bullpen. However, his value and originality have suffered greatly.”
MLB.com said, “It takes optimism to say that Ohtani will return to the mound as before.”
Also, according to MLB.com, an American League executive said about the possibility of Ohtani signing, “I think it will have a real impact. That’s because he won’t be able to pitch until 2025. He will be signed as a designated hitter for one year. Only if he can start hitting as soon as the season (2025 season) starts.”
MLB.com said, “The lowest free agent contract for Ohtani is expected to be $500 million over 10 years, but the final amount may be far less. Some believe his chances of becoming the half-billion dollar man are slim now.”
For now, it seems that Ohtani, the ‘batter’, will continue to be seen. Ohtani was knocked out early in Game 1 of the doubleheader, but he played as a hitter and also went 1-for-5 as the designated hitter in Game 2 as well. If he doesn’t get on the operating table, he’ll stay at bat.