Shohei Ohtani has been playing for six seasons with the Los Angeles Angels (LAA) in the major leagues. He appeared in a total of 711 games in the red jersey. Shouhei gets injured almost every season, which costs him a great number of matches.
The Los Angeles Angels are concerned about Shouhei‘s health. There are many renowned players who have suffered career-ending injuries. Some experts believe that Ohtani might join the likes of Christian Yelich, Matt Kemp, and Luis Severino in the future.
Angels manager Phil Nelvin told the media that Ohtani participated in practices despite his injuries. “Shohei is one of a kind, a great player, great person”, Angels general manager Perry Minasian said. He also commented, “Anybody that knows him, has a chance to talk to him, has been around him, he’s a team guy. He’s a pretty special guy, special player”.
Shohei Ohtani’s brilliance has already been acknowledged by critics. But frequent injuries not only affect the player, but also the team’s performance. Team management has to bear the cost of treatment for the player. So, Shohei has to consider how often injuries will affect his market value as a player.
Shohei Ohtani missed 159 games due to injury
Shohei is often termed as an ‘Injury-prone Player’ by critics. With the history of Ohtani, that claim doesn’t sound all that void.
- 2018: Shohei Ohtani was reported with a strained elbow just after he was signed by LAA at the end of 2017. In the 2018 season, he appeared only in 114 games with 10 games as Pitcher for the Angels due to being diagnosed with UCL damage, that following year Ohtani also won the American League’s Rookie of the Year, primarily as an outfielder.
- 2019: Shohei represents LAA in only 106 games in the whole season. He missed multiple weeks due to a knee, finger, and elbow injury, and also played only in the Designated Hitter (DH) role.
- 2020: The 2020 MLB season was shortened to 60 games due to the pandemic. Ohtani took the mound for 2 games out of his 44 appearances as he suffered from elbow flexor strain which banned him from pitching for the rest of that season.
- 2021: Shohei also got elbow injury in 2021 but that didn’t stop him from pitching in 23 games in 155 match appearances to win the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.
- 2022: He missed only 5 games in the year 2022 due to illness and some personal reasons. He stepped on the mound for 28 games in 157 games, most appearances in red jersey since his debut.
- 2023: Despite one of his great seasons with a broken 88-year-old Babe Ruth record, Shohei was absent more than his previous seasons. He got injured a total of 6 times from July to September. He played for LAA in 135 games and started game for 23 games.
Reason of Shohei’s often injuries
Shouhei Ohtani gets injured for various reasons. He transferred from the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) league, which has only 125 games per season. So, MLB, with 162 games per season, puts pressure on foreign players.
Baseball is smaller in size in the major leagues compared to other leagues. It puts pressure on the pitcher’s knee and elbow very often, especially if they are not habituated.
Also, Shohei’s specialty DH and Picher roles put him under immense pressure, which sometimes resulted in fractures and other injuries.
Shohei Ohtani is already on his way to becoming the greatest with his two-way style. Critics are in constant debate over his comparison with Yankee legend Babe Ruth. His ability to perform well with both the bat and on the mound certainly makes him a favorable candidate for the offseason. Next year, Ohtani will be a free agent. Fans are curious about the future of Shohei Ohtani in the upcoming offseason.