In a season filled with remarkable performances, both as a starting pitcher and designated hitter, Shohei Ohtani faced a devastating setback in recent weeks. An MRI scan exposed a tear in the UCL (Ulnar Collateral Ligament) of his throwing arm, marking an abrupt conclusion to his remarkable season. The 29-year-old had been dominating the field as a starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels.
Early in September, Ohtani encountered another setback when an oblique injury forced him to withdraw from a game against the Baltimore Orioles. Unfortunately, this injury has now officially terminated his 2023 season as he was placed on the injured list. Perry Minasian, the Angels’ General Manager, disclosed the immense effort Ohtani had exerted to make a swift return this season. However, the oblique injury proved to be an insurmountable hurdle to his comeback.
Manager Phil Nevin delivered the final verdict on Ohtani’s return to the field. Despite the disheartening end to the season and the Angels having already been eliminated from contention in the AL Wild Card race, Ohtani had expressed a strong desire to conclude the 2023 season alongside his teammates. He harbored hopes of playing before the passionate Halos fans, possibly for the last time while wearing the red Angels jersey. Although his playing days for the season have come to a premature end, Ohtani will continue to support his team and reunite with them at Angel Stadium during the final homestand of 2023 scheduled for next week.
“In Seattle, he was taking massive hacks in the cage,” Minasian said. “He wants to play. That’s what we love about him. He’s somebody that loves playing. He doesn’t take it for granted. He wants to be out there every day and wants to be with his teammates and wants to perform for the fans and for the organization. And I have a lot of respect for that.”
Shohei Ohtani’s remarkable dual role as a starting pitcher and designated hitter had been a highlight of the 2023 MLB season. His ability to excel in both positions set him apart as one of baseball’s most exceptional talents. His performances on the mound and at the plate had garnered widespread acclaim, making him a frontrunner for several prestigious awards.
“He fought it. He tried. He really wanted to play. He’s upset by it. But it just got to a point where, you understand that he was not gonna be able to go again this year.”
However, the unforeseen injuries have now cast a shadow over Ohtani’s extraordinary season. The UCL tear in his throwing arm is a particularly challenging setback for a pitcher, and the oblique injury only compounded his woes. It’s a bitter pill for both Ohtani and his fans to swallow, as his presence on the field was nothing short of electrifying.
As the 2023 MLB season nears its conclusion, the baseball world must bid adieu to one of its brightest stars prematurely. While Shohei Ohtani’s season may have ended abruptly, his remarkable journey continues to captivate fans worldwide.