Shohei Ohtani’s Uncertain Future Looms as Finger Pain Plagues Angels’ Star

Shohei Ohtani’s struggles continued as he left the mound with finger pain during his third consecutive start on Friday night. The Los Angeles Angels’ two-way star has been dealing with a blister and cracked fingernail, which have hindered his ability to pitch at his highest level. In the Angels’ 7-5 loss to the Houston Astros, Ohtani allowed four earned runs on five hits before leaving the game in the sixth inning. Ohtani walked Corey Julks to open the sixth and consulted with the Angels’ training staff before exiting due to his persistent finger issues.

Ohtani’s last start before the All-Star break was cut short due to a fingertip blister, and he also dealt with a cracked nail in a previous month. Speaking through his translator, Ohtani expressed his frustration with his performance. He stated that things haven’t been going the way he wanted on the mound and that he hasn’t thought about his next outing yet. Ohtani acknowledged that the injury was significant, but he did not provide further details.

The Angels’ recent struggles have added more uncertainty to Ohtani’s future with the team. The Halos’ playoff chances have diminished during their current six-game losing streak, leading to speculation that they could consider trading Ohtani before he becomes a free agent this winter. Astros manager Dusty Baker commented on Ohtani’s performance, saying that the star player didn’t look like himself and may still be bothered by the blister.

After Ohtani’s departure, the Astros capitalized on the opportunity, with Mauricio Dubon delivering a tiebreaking two-run single in the sixth inning. The Astros’ bullpen managed to hold on to secure a win out of the All-Star break.

In addition to Ohtani’s struggles, there were other notable moments in the game. Angels third baseman Luis Rengifo was pulled from the game after committing an error and failing to hustle to prevent a run. Angels manager Phil Nevin stated that he didn’t tolerate Rengifo’s lack of effort. Rookie Trey Cabbage made his major league debut but was pulled after grounding into a forceout in his first at-bat.

Looking ahead, the Astros’ Framber Valdez, who boasts the best ERA in the majors, will take the mound in an effort to improve his career record against the Angels. The Angels will counter with Reid Detmers, a rookie who has shown promise despite his record.

Overall, Ohtani’s struggles with finger pain and the Angels’ recent rough patch have raised questions about his future, including the possibility of a trade. As the season progresses, Ohtani’s performance and the team’s overall success will likely play a significant role in determining the direction of his career.