Shohei Ohtani's Locker Has Been Cleaned Out

Star pitcher-hitter will miss rest of the season and could be moving on after that
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2023 4:10 PM CDT
Shohei Ohtani's Locker Has Been Cleaned Out
Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani before a game in Oakland on Sept. 3.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

Shohei Ohtani wasn't in the locker room after the Los Angeles Angels' game Friday night, and reporters couldn't help noticing the star's locker had been cleaned out. When asked what was going on with the pitcher-designated hitter, team officials held a sidebar, per Yahoo Sports, then said they'd tell reporters the next day. On Saturday, they announced that Ohtani is finished for the season. He'll have surgery as soon as possible for the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, per ESPN. Ohtani hadn't played since Sept. 3 but went through pregame warmups lately, giving fans hope. He'd been a batter only after hurting his arm last month.

That could be the end of an Ohtani locker in the Angels clubhouse; he becomes a free agent at the end of the season. Although he played just five of the season's six months, Ohtani's statistics had him headed for another MVP season, per CBS Sports. His 9.0 FanGraphs wins above replacement is 9.0, the best in the major leagues by far. He leads the American League with 44 home runs. On the pitching side, he was 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA. He struck out 167 batters and gave up 55 walks in 132 innings. Ohtani hasn't said anything publicly for a while, but his agent has said the star expects, despite any injuries or surgeries and not being signed to a team for 2024, to be ready to start next season as a two-way player. (More Shohei Ohtani stories.)

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