Injured as a Pitcher, Star Returns as a Hitter

Shohei Ohtani won't pitch again this year but is in the Angels lineup as a DH
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2023 9:08 AM CDT
Updated Aug 25, 2023 4:31 PM CDT
His Incredible Season Takes a Devastating Turn
Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani walks off the field after being taken out of the game during the second inning against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023, in Anaheim, Calif.   (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
UPDATE Aug 25, 2023 4:31 PM CDT

Shohei Ohtani's season as a pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels ended on Wednesday, but he reappeared in the lineup as a designated hitter on Friday. The normally two-way star was scheduled to bat second against the New York Mets on Friday night, ESPN reports, in the first game his team has played since he left a game after throwing just 26 pitches. Angels general manager Perry Minasian said Friday that Ohtani plans to get a second medical opinion about the injury to his throwing arm. As a hitter, Minasian said, "He's going to play until he tells us he's not."

Aug 24, 2023 9:08 AM CDT

One of the most remarkable baseball seasons for an individual player in modern history came to a sudden end on Wednesday—at least partly. Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani left the game with a torn UCL and won't pitch again this season, reports CBS Sports. The 29-year-old native of Japan may need what's known in the sport as Tommy John surgery, which would be his second time having the procedure. For those unfamiliar with Ohtani, the incredible thing about his season is that—despite being a pitcher—he also leads the league with 44 home runs. In fact, he hit his 44th on Wednesday before leaving the game.

Given his hitting prowess, it's possible Ohtani could remain in the lineup as a designated hitter, notes Yahoo Sports. Still, "it's a tough day for him," says the Angels Perry Minasian. "Tough day for all of us." One reason it's so tough for Ohtani: He becomes a free agent after this season, and the injury is "a shocking twist in the lead-up to arguably the most highly anticipated free agency in baseball history," writes Alden Gonzalez at ESPN. Ohtani was in the running to receive the biggest contract ever bestowed on a baseball player, and that is now very much in doubt. The Angels are still mathematically alive in the playoff race, but their season is "effectively over," per Yahoo. (More Major League Baseball stories.)

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