Shohei Ohtani undergoing elbow surgery is ‘inevitable,’ his agent confirms – but he remains coy over whether Angels star needs a second Tommy John procedure
- Ohtani has remained in the batting lineup despite having a torn right UCL
- Despite the injury he is expected to command a massive deal in free agency
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Los Angeles Angels two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani is set to eventually undergo surgery on his injured right elbow, according to his agent Nez Balelo.
Balelo told reporters on Monday that it was ‘inevitable’, although he did not specify whether Ohtani would undergo Tommy John surgery or a separate operation.
Ohtani is currently dealing with a torn UCL that has ruled him out from pitching for the rest of this season and for at least part of the 2024 campaign as well.
The 29-year-old superstar has already undergone Tommy John surgery once in his career and is set to enter free agency at the end of this season.
His ability not only as an ace pitcher but as a powerful hitter ensures that a team will be getting one of the best players in the league at either position.
Shohei Ohtani is set to eventually undergo elbow surgery after his agent called it ‘inevitable’
Despite the torn UCL in his right elbow Ohtani has remained as the DH in the Angels lineup
The injury and how his ability to pitch is affected may, however, affect the specifics of his offseason market.
Balelo did confirm that the plan is still for Ohtani to show off his talents in both facets of the game once he is again able to, even if that is not necessarily next season.
‘There’s not a question in his mind that he’s gonna come back and he’s gonna continue to do both,’ Balelo said. ‘Shohei is going to be in somebody’s lineup next year, DH-ing when the bell rings.’
While he likely will be unable to pitch next season, he is sure to sign a massive free agent deal
Balelo also stated that the original Tommy John repair was still intact, which he called the ‘best case scenario.’
Ohtani is currently tied for the MLB home run lead with 44 long balls. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale recently reported that teams are viewing Ohtani as an elite power hitter ahead of his free agency and would likely include incentives and bonuses if he is able to return to the mound in 2025.
Before the injury Ohtani had been set to potentially receive a record-setting contract this offseason, however Balelo’s insistence that his client will still be stepping into the batter’s box next season could serve to remove worries teams may have about Ohtani missing the entire season.
In light of Ohtani’s injury and the team’s abysmal season the Angels recently released five players in an attempt to avoid paying the luxury tax, but failed when only four of the five were claimed off waivers by other teams.