ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shohei Ohtani’s attempts to return from an oblique injury officially came to an end Saturday, when the Los Angeles Angels announced he had been placed on the injured list and will miss the remainder of the season.
Ohtani, a near lock be named the American League’s Most Valuable Player for the second time in three years, tweaked his right oblique during a rare session of outdoor batting practice Sept. 4 and proceeded to miss the next 11 games. Ohtani’s camp has yet to decide on — or, at least, announce — a course of action for his torn ulnar collateral ligament, which ended his season as a pitcher near the end of August.
A free agent at season’s end, Ohtani was spotted leaving Angel Stadium by two eyewitnesses around 4 p.m. PT on Friday. After the game, his locker had mostly been cleared out. Angels general manager Perry Minasian is expected to address the media prior to his team’s 6 p.m. PT game against the Detroit Tigers.
Ohtani, 29, put together another spectacular season despite the abrupt ending to it, slashing .304/.412/.654 while leading the AL in home runs (44), walks (91) and total bases (325) as a hitter. He also went 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA in 132 innings as a pitcher, striking out 167 batters and issuing 55 walks. Despite only pitching and hitting for about five out of six months, Ohtani’s 9.0 FanGraphs wins above replacement easily lead the majors.
Ohtani hasn’t spoken publicly since Aug. 9, his last full start before learning about his UCL tear when he next took the mound 14 days later. His agent, Nez Balelo of CAA, said Sept. 4 that Ohtani fully intends to be a two-way player again and that regardless of the procedure he undergoes on his elbow, Ohtani will be ready to hit “when the bell rings” at the start of the 2024 season.