Injured Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani will miss the rest of the season, the team announced Saturday, raising the distinct possibility that the unique two-way superstar has played his last game with the Angels.
Ohtani, who will be a free agent after the season, injured his right oblique while taking batting practice at Angel Stadium on Sept. 4. He’s missed the team’s last 11 games, and his locker at the stadium was cleaned out after Friday’s 11-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers.
Ohtani, a home run-slugging outfielder who also pitches, tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow on Aug. 23 and is expected to undergo surgery for that injury. His future as a pitcher is somewhat in doubt given that he previously had arm surgery in 2018.
His impending free agency is expected to ignite a historic bidding war, with potential suitors including the Dodgers, Yankees, Mets and Mariners among others.
Many fans and sportswriters have seemed resigned to Ohtani’s departure since before this season began, with the Angels‘ lack of on-field success during Ohtani’s tenure considered the biggest factor.
The team has not made a postseason appearance since Ohtani joined them in 2018.
In 135 games this season, Ohtani batted .304, with 44 home runs, 95 runs batted in and 102 runs scored. He started 23 games on the mound and went 10-5 with a 3.14 earned-run average and 167 strikeouts in 132 innings.
In his six seasons in Anaheim, the 29-year-old from Japan hit .274, with 171 home runs and 437 RBI. As a pitcher, he was 38-19 with a 3.01 ERA.
Ohtani was named the American League’s Most Valuable Player in 2021, when he hit 46 home runs with 100 RBI and went 9-2 on the mound.