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Shohei Ohtani (oblique) has been ruled out for the season.

Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani bid to return from an oblique injury ended on Saturday when the Los Angeles Angels revealed he had been placed on the injured list and would miss the rest of the season.

Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani, who was expected to win the American League MVP award for the second time in three years, pulled his right oblique during a rare session of outdoor batting practice on Sept. 4 and missed the next 11 games. Ohtani’s camp has yet to determine – or, at the very least, declare – a course of action for his damaged ulnar collateral ligament, which halted his pitching season near the end of August.

Ohtani, who will be a free agent at the end of the season, was seen exiting Angel Stadium by two witnesses at 4 p.m. PT on Friday. His locker had been mostly wiped out after the game. Angels general manager Perry Minasian is scheduled to speak to the media prior to his team’s 9 p.m. ET game against the New York Mets.

Despite the untimely halt, Ohtani, 29, had another fantastic season, slashing 304/.412/.654 and leading the AL in home runs (44), walks (91), and total bases (325). He also pitched 132 innings and went 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA, striking out 167 batters and walking 55. Despite just pitching and hitting for around five months, Ohtani’s 9.0 FanGraphs wins above replacement leads the MLB.

Ohtani hasn’t spoken publicly since August 9, his final full start before learning about his UCL tear 14 days later. Ohtani’s agent, Nez Balelo of CAA, stated on September 4 that Ohtani firmly expects to be a two-way player again, regardless of the outcome of the season.

He’s already been shut down as a pitcher this season due to a tear in his right elbow ligament, but the Angels hoped he’d be back in the lineup this month after injuring his obliques in batting practice last week.

Ohtani is the favorite to win his second AL MVP award in three years, but Texas’ Corey Seager may be gaining ground in voters’ minds. Ohtani, who finished 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA this season, leads the American League in home runs with 44, and his 1.066 OPS ranks second in the majors, following only Seager.

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Amelia Jhon

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