Shohei Ohtani’s Future Uncertain as Finger Pain Halts Performance for Third Straight Start

Shohei Ohtani Struggles with Finger Pain, Raises Questions About His Future

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani exited the game on Friday night with finger pain for the third consecutive start. As the Angels continue to plummet in the standings and Ohtani’s future with the team remains uncertain, the two-way superstar is now facing challenges that go beyond the typical ailments that have hindered his pitching performance.

In the Angels’ 7-5 defeat to the Houston Astros, Ohtani allowed four earned runs on five hits before leaving the mound in the sixth inning. The pivotal moment came shortly after Mauricio Dubon hit a tiebreaking two-run single. Ohtani’s ongoing struggles with blister and cracked fingernail issues in his pitching hand prompted his early exit.

Ohtani’s final start before the All-Star break was cut short due to a fingertip blister, and he previously battled a cracked nail last month. The persistent finger problems have affected his ability to pitch at his usual high level.

Reflecting on the game, Ohtani expressed frustration with the outcome, stating that things didn’t go as planned. He mentioned that he hasn’t thought about his next outing and will focus on assessing the condition of his finger before making any decisions.

While Ohtani claimed it is difficult to determine the severity of his latest injury, his performance against the Astros raised concerns among fans and coaches. Astros manager Dusty Baker noted that Ohtani didn’t look like himself and speculated whether the blister was still bothering him.

Despite his struggles on the mound, Ohtani remained in the game as a hitter and contributed two singles. However, the Angels suffered their sixth consecutive loss, their longest losing streak of the season, and have dropped 10 out of their last 11 games.

The Angels’ recent slump has significantly diminished their chances of making the playoffs and has led to speculation about the possibility of trading Ohtani. As he returned to Anaheim following his attention-grabbing All-Star appearances in Seattle, questions about his future with the team continued to loom large.

After Ohtani’s departure, the Astros’ bullpen held off the Angels for a win in their first game after the All-Star break. Ryan Pressly struck out Ohtani and the side in the ninth inning to secure his 21st save of the season.

The Angels’ defeat was also marred by defensive lapses, including an error committed by Luis Rengifo and Mike Moustakas’ mishandling of a late-inning bunt. Rengifo was subsequently benched after a conversation with Angels manager Phil Nevin, who expressed dissatisfaction with the player’s lack of effort.

In summary, Shohei Ohtani’s ongoing battle with finger pain raises questions about his future with the Los Angeles Angels. His struggles on the mound, coupled with the team’s dismal performance, have amplified trade rumors surrounding the two-way star. Ohtani’s finger ailments remain a cause for concern, affecting his pitching and leaving his return to the mound uncertain. With the Angels’ playoff hopes dwindling, speculation about Ohtani’s future will likely intensify as the trade deadline approaches.