Shohei Ohtani injury: Angels superstar won't pitch again this season due to UCL tear after exiting game early

Los Angeles Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani departed his start Wednesday against the Cincinnati Reds (GameTracker) alongside a trainer with what the team called “arm fatigue.” Hours later, Angels general manager Perry Minasian told reporters in Anaheim, California, that Ohtani has a tear in his UCL and will not pitch the remainder of the season.

Minasian said it was not yet known whether surgery will be necessary for Ohtani.

“He has a tear, and he won’t pitch the rest of the year,” Minasian said. “We’re going to get a second opinion, go from there, but it’s basically day to day. … He’s played with this in ’18, but with that being said, we’ll take it day by day and see where it goes. … If anybody can bounce back, it’s him.”

Ohtani was removed from Game 1 of Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Reds after 1 1/3 scoreless innings and a home run in his lone at-bat. He struck out two of the five batters he faced while allowing no hits and surrendering just one walk. After being evaluated, he returned as designated hitter for Game 2, going 1/5 with a double, a run and a strikeout.

The Angles were swept in Wednesday’s header and this week’s series by the Reds. They also lost star Mike Trout (wrist) to the injured list just one day after he returned to the team from a seven-week absence.

Minasian said Ohtani will not swing a bat over the next couple of days so he can be evaluated further. He hopes that Ohtani will be able to return as a batter this season.

“I know he’s going to do everything in his power to come back as soon as he can,” the GM said.

Ohtani, who had Tommy John surgery in October 2018, has dealt with a slew of minor ailments in recent weeks, including fingernail and blister problems. More recently, he had a start skipped because of arm fatigue. He’s also publicly expressed that he was feeling tired, a byproduct of his unrivaled workload as a two-way player. 

During his start Wednesday afternoon, Ohtani showed greatly reduced velocity on all of his pitches. According to Statcast’s data, his fastball was clocked at 93.2 mph — 3.7 mph below his seasonal average. His sweeper, meanwhile, was 4.7 ticks slower.

Ohtani, 29, entered the day having hit .304/.406/.659 (182 OPS+) with 43 home runs and 89 RBI, as well as having thrown 130 innings of 142 ERA+ ball. His total contributions have been estimated to be worth 9.4 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference. In other words, he’s in the midst of one of the best individual seasons in baseball history.

Ohtani will qualify for free agency this winter. At that point, he’s expected to receive a contract worth more than $500 million, per industry insiders. As such, it’s within the realm of possibility that Wednesday’s games were his last in an Angels uniform.

The Angels were swept by the Reds in Wednseday’s 

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