Shohei Ohtani underwent elbow surgery on Tuesday according to a statement his agent released through the Los Angeles Angels. Though it doesn't specify what the specific procedure was, we all assume it was Tommy John surgery. The statement claims Ohtani will be healthy enough to hit at the start of the 2024 season, and he aims to return to the mound in 2025.
Here's the full statement from Nez Balelo, Ohtani's agent:
Ohtani himself took to Instagram to announce he'd undergone surgery:
The key here is that Ohtani will apparently be ready for Opening Day and he does plan to pitch full-go again. Given his ability at the plate, some had speculated he could stop or cut down on his pitching in the future, since this would be his second recovery from Tommy John surgery. Obviously those assurances in the statement are directly tied to Ohtani's impending free agency.
As we've noted before, Ohtani was in line to get the biggest contract in MLB history and possibly the biggest in sports history. That's still possible, but his elbow injury will significantly lower the contract he gets this offseason.
The Angels' superstar has had the American League MVP Award wrapped up for a few months, as his numbers this season have been staggering. He'll finish the year hitting .304, with 44 home runs and 95 RBIs in only 135 games. His 1.066 OPS is the best in baseball. On the mound, he mad 23 starts and was 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP and 167 strikeouts in 132 innings. His fWAR on the season is an MLB-best 8.9.
Here's hoping he can come back as the same player.