The Los Angeles Angels currently are unable to produce a winning product on the field, sitting 10 games under the .500 mark at 68-78. A lot of which has to do with the omission of Shohei Ohtani from the starting lineup, as he continues to rehab himself from a nagging injury.
Ohtani has dealt with a number of ailments this season, mainly the injured right elbow, which took him out of contention as a starting pitcher for the remainder of the year. But his right oblique is the latest slight on his bill of health, and it has unfortunately made him unavailable as a hitter.
Fans were witnessing another Most Valuable Player Award push from Ohtani, but he’s since had to slow down the number of games to play. In a free-agent year, coupled with no incentive for postseason play, Ohtani’s absence from the Angels order lessens the desire to keep an eye, per Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:
“I know fans come to see him, especially when we’re at home,” Nevin said. “I get that frustration. Absolutely. When this started, nobody thought it was a big issue. He was even telling me ‘I think I can go in a day or two.’ And that’s what I told you guys. Well, it stretched out a little longer than we thought. But I still think it’s really close. And we’ll wait for him to say when he can play.”
The Angels have been at the mercy of when Ohtani gives them the green light to pencil him in. That amount of control has left the team in a gray area. One that fans the flames over the two-way stars understanding that his long-term goals are more important than forcing himself to play through an injury that might not be entirely healed.
Angels believe Shohei Ohtani is close to returning
In his time on the injured list for a strained oblique, he’s since made progress and had hoped to return against the Mariners at T-Mobile Park on Monday. However, a late scratch by Nevin was prompted by a flare up in his right oblique.
But Nevin added that Ohtani hinted that a return was coming, possible on Wednesday in their series finale with the Mariners.
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