It’s a huge next few months for Los Angeles Angels phenom Shohei Ohtani as he heads for free agency following the completion of this season. But, a huge wrench has been throwing into all of baseball, as the Angels announced he has a torn UCL, and he will not pitch the rest of the year.
As far as baseball injury news, it doesn’t get much more stunning to this. This will affect the offseason plans of basically the entire league when you consider the trickle-down effects this offseason.
It was announced Wednesday evening following a 7-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
Shohei Ohtani has a tear in his UCL, Angels GM Perry Minasian told reporters in Anaheim. It is still unclear, he said, whether it will require surgery. He will not pitch the rest of the season.
Ohtani had Tommy John surgery in October 2018. The elbow continues to be the worst.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 24, 2023
For those unfamiliar with the UCL, that’s the ligament that when torn, causes athletes to undergo Tommy John surgery. If Shohei Ohtani opts for surgery, he likely won’t pitch at all in 2024. He could play as a designated hitter and possibly at first base, like Phillies star Bryce Harper has done this year while rehabbing his torn UCL.
The 2021 MVP, 2022 MVP runner-up, and likely MVP this year is a truly one-of-a-kind player. Nobody in the history of baseball has ever simultaneously dominated at the plate and on the mound as much as Shohei Ohtani has. Notably, earlier this month, some suggested he had been hit by the Drake curse.
The 29-year-old was expected to get the richest contract in American pro sports history, at upwards of $500 million or $600 million. Now, this will enter some uncertainty into those negotiations, and maybe draw some other teams into the bidding.