There’s Mike Trout (not smiling).
There’s Anthony Rendon (truly in uniform).
The place’s Shohei Ohtani?
The Angels shot their workforce photograph Tuesday earlier than their dwelling sport in opposition to the Baltimore Orioles. A tall man carrying Ohtani’s No. 17 stood within the again row. However it wasn’t him. It was a physique double, a stand-in, seemingly a workforce worker pretending to be the unicorn, the best baseball participant on the earth.
Oh, my. Oh, the symbolism. Oh, Ohtani.
The Angels’ two-way famous person is famously detest to overlook a sport. He by no means desires to sit down. Apparently, he didn’t wish to stand, both.
Or he was unable to as a result of an damage described as proper indirect tightness was being evaluated. Supervisor Phil Nevin stated Ohtani instructed him by means of interpreter Ippei Mizuhara that he wished to play Tuesday however that Nevin had determined “immediately was not a great day for him.”
And it wasn’t a great day for the Angels, who misplaced 6-5 in 10 innings to slide 11 video games below .500.
So far as the photograph goes, Nevin indicated the Angels can save face by using picture modifying and insert Ohtani’s head onto the physique double, who was escorted off the sector by means of the bullpen gate after the photograph.
Barring a miracle, the final time Ohtani’s face will sit atop an Angels uniform can be Oct. 1 over the last sport of the season. He’ll then change into a free agent and isn’t anticipated to re-sign with the workforce with which he’s spent six dropping seasons.
Ohtani’s free company is sophisticated by the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his proper elbow. His agent, Nez Balelo, stated Monday it’s “inevitable” Ohtani can have a process executed on his elbow and that Ohtani and docs are reviewing the choices.
“We’re actually making an attempt to coach ourselves on this state of affairs,” stated Balelo, who added he expects Ohtani to be obtainable as a delegated hitter at the beginning of subsequent season.
Within the brief time period, Ohtani will try and bat as usually as attainable by means of September and add to his 95 RBIs, 20 stolen bases and league-leading 44 dwelling runs, .412 on-base proportion and 1.066 on-base-plus-slugging proportion.
Ohtani has missed solely 4 video games all season — together with the final two — and solely 5 final season. He grew to become the face of the franchise, eclipsing even Trout. Except the indirect continues barking, it’ll stay that means for 23 extra video games. No stand-in required.