We haven’t forgotten about Shohei Ohtani, have we? After all, he’s still showing everyone across Major League Baseball that he can hit at this level. Over 129 plate appearances, he’s slashing .289/.372/.535 (.907 OPS) with eight doubles, a triple and six dingers. But that’s not all. On the mound, he holds a 3.10 ERA, 3.25 FIP and 2.97 DRA while striking out 25.6% of opposing batters and walking 11.6% of them.
But now, the Los Angeles Angels are placing him on the disabled list with a sprained UCL Per ESPN, he’s set to be re-evaluated in three weeks. According to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, GM Billy Eppler is trying to stay optimistic.
“…Based on the readings of those MRIs, there are not signs of acute trauma in the elbow,” Eppler continues. “It looks consistent with players his age. We are pleased with the results of the physical and we are very happy to have the player.”
It’s good to stay hopeful, of course. But this is potentially terrible news for Ohtani. And for the Angels as well. On the season, they are a solid 35-28 but still 4.5 games out of first place. However, they’ve won four games in a row and are starting to roll again. That said, the AL West-leading Seattle Mariners probably aren’t going to keep this up all season. The Houston Astros have a plus-121 run differential for a reason. They are going to eventually take the lead in the AL West for good.
Still, the Angels are just 3.5 games out of the wild card. And Ohtani is a big reason why. If they’re without him for an extended period of time, though, these chances take a big hit. Let’s hope for the sake of baseball that Ohtani is okay. The game is far better with him in it.