Even though the team’s fall baseball has virtually gone, Shohei Ohtani (29, LA Angels) continues to hit the plate, even though his physical condition is not good. Why did he make this choice?
On the 28th, Nikkan Gendai, a Japanese media outlet, mentioned Ohtani’s current condition under the theme of “Why is Ohtani playing despite elbow ligament damage when the team’s chances of advancing to the playoffs are low?”먹튀검증
Ohtani has a ligament problem in his right elbow where he currently pitches. He took the mound as a starting pitcher in the first game of a doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds on the 24th, but was pulled after complaining of elbow pain after 1⅓ innings. After the second game of the double header, the Los Angeles Angels officially announced that “Ohtani will not be able to play as a pitcher for the rest of the season due to a torn medial collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow.”
Shohei Ohtani (second from right) goes down the mound on his own in the first game of the doubleheader against Cincinnati on the 24th (Korean time), unable to continue pitching in the second inning. /AFPBBNews=News1
Ohtani, who underwent Tommy John surgery (elbow ligament splicing surgery) in October 2018, showed a shaky appearance after returning to the mound in 2020. However, after recording 9 wins, 2 losses and an ERA of 3.18 the following year, Ohtani quickly became a top player in the major leagues as a pitcher. In particular, last year, with 15 wins and an average ERA of 2.33, he ranked fourth in the American League Cy Young Award voting. He maintained an earned run average in the 2-point range until May this year as well, establishing himself as the Angels’ ace.
However, Ohtani exposed his anxiety by making 5 or more runs three times in July. He had a shutout victory against Detroit on the 28th of last month, but in his next appearance (against Seattle on August 4), he was knocked out after 4 innings due to a problem with his fingers. Then, on the 10th, he felt discomfort in his arm after throwing 6 innings and 1 run (zero earned) against San Francisco, and on the 17th, he skipped a start against Texas, due to fatigue in his arm.
In the end, Ohtani was released after pitching only 1⅓ innings against Cincinnati on the 24th, and was eventually diagnosed with elbow ligament damage. In the process, as the club’s accountability theory emerged, Perry Minassian Angels general manager said in an interview with MLB.com, “After the Seattle match on the 4th, the club suggested magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), but the player refused.” also showed
Anyway, given the current situation, there is a high possibility that Ohtani will be on the operating table again in five years. However, Ohtani announced that he would only play as a batter for the rest of the season instead of out of the season.
This is clearly the part I don’t understand. As of the 28th, the affiliated team, the Angels, recorded a season record of 63 wins and 68 losses (0.481 win rate), and was 11.5 games behind Seattle Mariners, the leader of the American League West. It is 10.5 games behind the wild card 3rd place (Houston), which is the right to advance to the postseason, and fall baseball is in fact difficult. In fact, baseball statistics site Baseball Reference put the Angels’ odds of advancing to the postseason at 0.1% and even lower than that of winning the World Series.
Even so, Ohtani continues to play as a hitter. In fact, Ohtani already had the same experience five years ago. Even in 2018, when he had his first Tommy John surgery, he only started 10 games as a pitcher and hit 22 homers at bat by the end of the season. According to the media, Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish (San Diego) said in a personal broadcast, “Even if the ligaments are damaged, you can hit.”
The media then claimed, “Ohtani seems to be aiming for the batting title this season.” Ohtani has enjoyed honors such as winning Rookie of the Year in 2018 and the 2021 Unanimous League MVP. However, he has yet to win any individual titles. In 2021, he entered the competition for the home run king, but recorded 46 home runs, falling behind Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Toronto) and Salvador Perez (Kansas City, more than 48 home runs).
However, this year, as he hit 44 homers by the 28th, he is leading the American League home run by a whopping 10 gap with Lewis Robert (White Sox, 34 homers), who is second. Ohtani also ranked first in runs scored (100 points), on-base percentage (0.409), and slugging percentage (0.666). Here, the batting average was also 0.305, which was in third place. If he ranks first in the batting average and RBI categories, he can win the American League batting triple crown (three crowns) for the first time in 11 years since Miguel Cabrera (Detroit) in 2012.
Ohtani’s performance also draws comparisons to his teammate Mike Trout. On the 4th of last month, Trout was placed on the injured list (IL) when he fractured the iliac bone in his left wrist during a swing. He returned from the Cincinnati game on the 23rd and went 1-for-4. However, Trout went back to the injured list after a day. In the midst of poor team performance, he does not have to overdo it.
Ohtani is different. Ohtani will qualify as a free agent (FA) after the end of this season. The expected ransom, which was once looking up to 600 million dollars (approximately 795.6 billion won), has fallen due to injury, but if he wins the title in hitting, the value will be recognized. This is why Ohtani has no choice but to overdo it a little ahead of the jackpot contract.