[MLB] Baseball equipment and other items were cleaned out of Shohei Ohtani’s locker, which was nearly empty. Shohei Ohtani, is this season over? Analysis of why he made the decision at this time 


Last Updated on 09/17/2023 by てんしょく飯


On September 15 locally, after a Los Angeles Angels game, it emerged that Shohei Ohtani, who has missed 11 consecutive games due to a right side injury, may decide not to return to the lineup this season.



The Angels’ public relations department explained that they will make some sort of announcement on September 16

The Angels suffered an 11-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers. When the press stepped into the locker room after the game, baseball equipment and other items had been cleaned out of Ohtani’s locker, which was nearly empty.


The Angels’ public relations department explained that they would make some kind of announcement on September 16, but it is very possible that Ohtani has given up on returning this season.


Ohtani suffered damage to his right elbow ligament, his dominant arm, when he was the starting pitcher in the first game of a doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds on August 23. As a pitcher, it was announced that he would not pitch again this season, but as a hitter, he continued to bat and play in the second game.


However, before a game against the Baltimore Orioles on September 4, he injured his right side when he took hitting practice outside for the first time in a while. He was sidelined for the rest of the season, but Ohtani was eager to return to the lineup.


Let us find out why Ohtani decided to take this hardship off the schedule with 14 games left.


Chances of winning the district championship are gone.

The Angels’ record for the season fell to 68-80 with the loss to the Tigers, and their chances of winning a division title were completely eliminated with the loss on this day.


In the American League West Division, to which the Angels belong, the Houston Astros, Texas Rangers, and Seattle Mariners are in a fierce battle for the division title with a 1.5 game difference.


The Angels are 15.0 games behind the Astros for the district lead, and even if they win all 14 of their remaining games, they will not win the district championship.


As Ohtani said in early August, “I will not give up as long as there is a chance.” As long as there is even a 0.1% chance of winning the district championship, he was determined to fight until the end. However, now that the possibility has been reduced to 0%, he seems to have come to terms with his feelings.


In 2019, he decided to have surgery at the timing when the possibility of the playoffs disappeared.


Let’s look back at the timing of Ohtani’s decision to have surgery on his left knee cap in 2019.


After undergoing ligament reconstruction surgery on his right elbow shortly after the end of the 2018 season, Ohtani did not pitch in 2019 and focused on competing as a hitter.


While continuing to compete as a hitter and rehabilitating as a pitcher, Ohtani experienced significant pain in his left knee. He was told that there would be no problem for him to compete as a hitter, but it was not until September 11 that he made the decision to have the surgery, considering his return to pitching.


The previous night, September 10, the Oakland Athletics, in second place in the district, defeated the Astros, who were in first place in the district. The Angels’ chances of winning the district championship were already gone, but the Athletics’ win also completely closed the door on a wild card playoff berth.


The team made the announcement on September 12, the day after Ohtani decided to have the surgery, and the surgery took place on September 13.


This year, although the possibility of a wild card playoff berth has not yet been completely eliminated, the wild card elimination number is two, and when the elimination number, also known as the “reverse magic number,” reaches zero, the possibility of a wild card berth will also be completely eliminated, but as quickly as September 16, it will be zero. The earliest it can be zero is on September 16.


Expect Ohtani to talk about it.


Ohtani has not made a comment since he was interviewed by the press after his 10th win of the season as a pitcher on August 10.


For the past month, manager Phil Nevin, GM Perry Minassian, and his agent, Nez Valero, have been explaining the situation to the press on Ohtani’s behalf.


Ohtani fans in Japan and the U.S. are hoping, above all, that the situation will be explained by Ohtani himself.


It is not clear who will attend the press conference on September 16, but if Ohtani explains himself, fans will be relieved.