Shohei Ohtani’s Season in Jeopardy: UCL Tear Puts Angels’ Playoff Hopes on Thin Ice

Devastating Injury Strikes Ohtani's Incredible Performance on the Mound

Angels skipper Phil Nevin finds two succinct words to encapsulate the whirlwind of the past two days. The prolific Shohei Ohtani, who showcased a stellar season on the mound with a remarkable 3.14 ERA and a 10-5 record, now grapples with an ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) tear, abruptly marking the end of his pitching campaign.

“This sucks,” Nevin said.

(Via the Los Angeles Times)

This tear signifies the partial conclusion of an extraordinary individual season-long display, etching its place in baseball’s history. The narrative, however, remains incomplete, as Ohtani clings to the possibility of a return as a designated hitter. His batting feats, including 44 home runs and an impressive .304/.405/.664 performance, beckon him to continue contributing from behind the plate.

“I know how bad he wants to play, but with that being said, I think he needs time to wrap his head around it, talk to the people close to him,” said Angels general manager Perry Minasian the day of the injury.

(Via the Los Angeles Times)

Ohtani’s impending decision to persevere through the season demands time and careful consideration. The path forward is shrouded in uncertainty. While not all UCL tears necessitate the invasive Tommy John surgery—a procedure that could potentially sideline Ohtani for the entire 2024 season—the majority of such injuries at the professional level ultimately lead to surgical intervention, according to insights from the Times.

“We’re in the process of getting second opinions, which are obviously important,” Minasian said. “Once the information is there, he’ll make the right decision on what he wants to do and we’ll support whatever he decides.”

(Via the Los Angeles Times)

In an unfortunate parallel, the Angels’ star player Mike Trout, heralded back to the lineup with anticipation after a prolonged absence, now finds himself returning to the injured list. Following a mere one-game resurgence on Tuesday, Trout’s aspirations are dampened once again. He had been grappling with the injury list since early July.

“No one’s quitting in that room,” manager Phil Nevin said Wednesday night. “I’m not quitting. No one’s quitting in that room. I won’t allow it. The coaches won’t allow it, the players won’t allow it. Room hurts, this sucks.”

(Via the Los Angeles Times)

The Angels’ current position, lagging 10.5 games behind in the AL Wild Card standings, paints a grim picture. In the absence of both Ohtani and Trout, the team’s prospect of clinching a playoff spot appears akin to a miraculous feat. The uphill struggle persists as the Angels brace themselves for a challenging matchup against the Mets, scheduled for 4:10 p.m. on Friday in New York.

Gary Lee

Gary Lee, a mainstay at LA Sports Report, is not just a sports writer; he's a veritable institution in the realm of sports journalism. With an extensive and illustrious career that boasts stints with notable platforms like Sports Illustrated, Gary has consistently showcased an uncanny knack for capturing the essence of the game, regardless of the sport. His prowess isn't limited to the written word alone; Gary's vast experience extends to creating and curating sports websites, providing fans with in-depth analysis, up-to-date news, and captivating stories. For readers keen on insights into the Clippers, Dodgers, Galaxy, Kings, LAFC, Lakers, Rams, UCLA, and USC, Gary is your go-to guy.
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