(Photo credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports)
The spectacular season of Los Angeles Angels two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani appears to be over.
Ohtani has missed 11 straight games with a right oblique injury, and after Friday night's loss to the Detroit Tigers, his locker at Angel Stadium was empty and had a packed bag in front of it, MLB.com reported.
The Angels said they wouldn't have an announcement until Saturday, per the report. But if his season ends with 14 games to go, the pending free agent could have played his final game in an Angels uniform.
The 2021 American League MVP, Ohtani hasn't played since Sept. 3 and last pitched Aug. 23. After that latter outing, he was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his first pitching elbow. No decision has been made as to whether he will undergo a second Tommy John surgery or follow a different course of treatment.
Despite the injury, he had been the Angels' designated hitter. He sustained the oblique injury during batting practice on Sept. 4.
Manager Phil Nevin said Wednesday that Ohtani, 29, would try to play in the three-game weekend series against the Tigers.
"He's always wanting to play," Nevin said. "He's just going through his stuff."
Ohtani leads the American League in home runs with 44, and he also has a league-leading 91 walks and is tied for the league lead in triples with eight. He's added 95 RBIs and 20 stolen bases while batting .304.
He is second in the major leagues with a 1.066 OPS and .654 slugging percentage, trailing only Corey Seager of the Texas Rangers.
In 23 games as a starting pitcher, he is 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA, striking out 167 batters in 132 innings.
Despite his upcoming free agency, the Angels decided not to trade Ohtani before the Aug. 1 deadline. In an attempt to make the playoffs for the first time since 2014, and to show Ohtani their commitment to winning, the team made a series of deals that didn't produce the desired results. The Angels are 12-28 since the deadline and out of the postseason race.
It remains to be seen what Ohtani will earn in his first venture into free agency this winter. Before the elbow injury, analysts predicted he'd be baseball's first $600 million player.
--Field Level Media