Pitcher Ohtani may give up

Will Shohei Ohtani (30, LA Dodgers) spend the remainder of his Major League (MLB) career only as a hitter?
There is talk in the United States that Ohtani is giving up on being a pitcher.

The American media USA Today reported on May 13, 2024, “A person who knows Ohtani well says, ‘If the club asks him to give up being a pitcher and become a full-time outfielder, he will agree to it.'”

The media said, “Ohtani likes hitting, and he is the best at it in the league,” and added, “His acquaintances say, ‘Ohtani doesn’t do pitching as passionately as he does hitting.’”
He added, “I’m just doing both because I can do both.”

If Ohtani gives up being a pitcher, it means his identity will disappear.
He is like a ‘unicorn’ in the major leagues who brought out the word ‘combined batting and pitching’, which had long disappeared in the past.

As of May 13, 2024, during 7 seasons in the big league, he posted a batting average of 0.279, 182 home runs, 464 RBIs, and an OPS of 0.932 in 741 games as a batter, and 38 wins, 19 losses, and an ERA of 3.01 in 86 games (481⅔ innings) as a pitcher.

Since his debut season in the big leagues in 2018, he has had a crisis in his dual-width style after undergoing Tommy John surgery (elbow ligament fusion surgery), but he returned to the mound in 2021 by pitching 130⅓ innings.
Then in 2019, he went 15-9 with a 2.33 earned run average and finished fourth in the American League Cy Young Award.

He was reborn as an ace thanks to his fastball in the low 90s and a sweeper with good movement.

Ohtani’s largest contract in North American professional sports history

However, in August 2023, he complained of pain in his elbow while pitching, and was eventually diagnosed with a rupture of the medial collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow.
He went on the operating table in mid-September 2023 and is said to be able to return as a pitcher only in 2025.

Despite not being able to pitch as a pitcher for a season, the Dodgers signed Ohtani to a 10-year contract worth $700 million (approximately KRW 958.4 billion) ahead of this 토토사이트 season, the largest contract in North American professional sports history.
At the time, MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, said, “Just based on batting performance, it will be comparable to the size of Aaron Judge’s (New York Yankees) contract (9 years, $360 million).”

However, if he really has no intention of becoming a pitcher, Ohtani’s value will drop.
Ohtani has already hinted at giving up his two-hitting career once.

Japanese media such as Sponich Annex and Daily Sports reported at the end of last year that “Ohtani said, ‘If he undergoes a third surgery, he may give up being a pitcher.'”
These are his own words from Otani’s documentary airing on NHK in Japan.

Ohtani said, “This is my second surgery as a pitcher. So, if something like this happens again, I think he will have to switch to a hitter,” and mentioned that he may give up his double-batting job.
In his first surgery, the tendons of his right wrist were transplanted, and this time, the tendons of his left wrist were removed, so at the time, he was interpreted as ‘Bae Soo-jin’.

In fact, Otani said, “I want to continue performing consistently for a long time,” and “My goal is to continue dual swords for the next 10 years.”
He said, “I don’t know because no one has done that,” but he also said, “I will do my best first.”

Ohtani has yet to throw a single pitch as a pitcher for the Dodgers.
He began preparing as a pitcher little by little from spring camp, and recently increased the number of catches to 70.

As Ohtani himself said, he doesn’t seem to be giving up his two-hitting job until he hurts his elbow again.

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