Alden Gonzalez, ESPN Staff WriterSep 16, 2023, 01:48 PM ET
- ESPN baseball reporter. Covered the L.A. Rams for ESPN from 2016 to 2018 and the L.A. Angels for MLB.com from 2012 to 2016.
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 MVP 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 season as a pitcher ended late last month, after he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He’s expected to have a “procedure” soon to repair the elbow, Angels general manager Perry Minasian said at a news conference Saturday.
A free agent at season’s end, Ohtani was spotted leaving Angel Stadium by two eyewitnesses around 4 p.m. PT Friday. After the game, his locker had mostly been cleared out.
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 pitching and hitting for only about five out of six months, Ohtani’s 9.0 FanGraphs wins above replacement easily lead the majors.
He 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.