I know that I am not the big baseball guy on the site, but I want to talk about the Shohei Ohtani news, that he may need Tommy John surgery.
This is a real bummer to me. Again, I do not watch baseball at all, especially right now since football is in full time swing. But, I was looking at Bleacher Report the other day and saw that Ohtani may need the dreaded surgery for pitchers. Now, he has had a very solid season, at least from what I read, both pitching, but more so hitting. He has a decent amount of home runs, he has a decent average and has a good amount of RBI's. As far as pitching, he was doing fine. If you look at him as a rookie, which he is, he has had a very solid pitching season. He has missed a good amount of time, but who doesn't in baseball these days. Also, every star player is treated with kid gloves, so they don't burn out right away.
I had very high hopes for Ohtani, and he was kind of living up to them. I mean, no one really got to see him because he plays on a middling AL team, that is perpetually stuck at, or below .500. He plays on a team that has the best player in baseball, Mike Trout, and they have Albert Pujols, who is coming up on some iconic numbers as a hitter. But, the Angels are like the Chargers of the MLB. They are always the team that is the "sleeper", and they always stumble. I feel real bad for Trout because he is being completely wasted there, and I fear the same is going to happen to Ohtani.
My main point for my piece today, I think maybe the Angels pushed him a bit too much. I know I said that new stars get treated like kids, but they allowed Ohtani to play both. This was exciting to a guy like me, that never really watches baseball, but how was this good for their franchise, I will never know. They should have played him in the outfield, in my opinion, then on the rare, rare occasion that they needed a pitcher, preferably in relief, then they could let Ohtani pitch. I feel like this would have best utilized his unique skill set, and helped this team actually matter when September and October come around. Case and point, a day or two after the diagnosis of Tommy John, Ohtani played, and he hit 2 home runs. The guy can swing the bat. He has proven that he can hit major league pitchers, and hit them deep. He has proven his prowess in the field. Also, if you want to save his arm play him at DH. The Angles are an AL team and they have the DH, so why not? I mean, it would have fit perfectly with my idea to only pitch him in a needed basis.
Whatever the reason, people say Ohtani need this surgery. Who knows what he will do, and what will happen from here on out. I personally hope he doesn't get it. I want him to become a full time DH, and find a way to heal his arm without having this 10-12 recovery period from this surgery. If he does opt for surgery, I feel sorry for Angels fans and hardcore baseball fans. Ohtani has this special ability to hit and pitch at one of the highest levels of baseball. And not only can he just do both, he is very good at both. If he gets Tommy John, these fans will miss a year plus of getting to watch him play. That is a drag. And, who knows how he will play when he gets back. The last person I remember with big time expectations that had to get Tommy John was Stephen Strasburg. Now, he is strictly a pitcher, but people expected the world of him. He then had the surgery, and while he is a fine MLB pitcher, he is not the threat that he was supposed to be. He is a 13-15 win guy with a 3 plus ERA. Everyone expected him to be the next Nolan Ryan, but after Tommy John, he is just another mid level starter on a supposed good team. He isn't even the best pitcher on his team now. I don't want that for Ohtani.
I personally want Ohtani to continue to play. He is one of the very few reasons I even know about baseball right now. I have checked on him occasionally because I was genuinely curious. That hasn't happened with a baseball player for me for a long while. I hope he continues to play as a DH. I hope he finishes out the season and finds a way to avoid Tommy John. I just want him to be on a baseball field next year, as opposed to him rehabbing after a surgery.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He used to pitch and hit for his baseball team. Unfortunately Ty had surgery and his career ended. It was wisdom teeth surgery, and Ty was 20 years old. What could have been?
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