Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani will miss the rest of the season because of an oblique (rib) injury, the team announced Saturday.
Ohtani was placed on the 10-day injured list. He has not played since Sept. 3 because of the oblique injury and his season as a pitcher ended on Aug. 23 because of a torn elbow ligament.
The two injuries ended one of the most remarkable seasons in major league history, two-way production that made him a favourite to win his second American League MVP award in three seasons and created speculation he might get a contract for $500 million US or more as a free agent this off-season.
The 29-year-old set career bests with a .304 batting average and 1.066 on-base-plus slugging percentage.
He leads the AL with 44 homers and had 96 runs batted in, eight triples and 20 stolen bases on an Angels team that entered Saturday at 68-80, on the verge of an eighth straight losing season.
Ohtani was 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA in 23 starts, striking out 167 and walking 55 in 132 innings. Ohtani and the Angels have not said whether he will need Tommy John surgery for the second time.
Ohtani had Tommy John surgery on Oct. 1, 2018, performed by Los Angeles Dodgers head team physician Neal ElAttrache.
He returned to the Angels as a batter the following May 7 and to the mound on July 26, 2020, in a season delayed by the pandemic. He didn’t retire a batter in his return, got just five outs on Aug. 2 and left with a strained forearm that kept him from pitching until 2021.
Since then, he’s gone 34-16 with a 2.84 ERA in 74 starts.
Nearly all the personal items had been removed from Ohtani’s locker and the adjoining empty stall after Friday night’s game. A fully packed bag with a logo from this year’s all-star game sat in front of his stall where his shoes would normally be, and only a few workout shirts hung on the rack.
Nearly 30 minutes after reporters were allowed into the locker room and noticed the absence of Ohtani’s possessions, an Angels spokesman said the team planned to give more information Saturday.