Shohei Ohtani was in the midst of arguably the greatest baseball season of all time. whether angelsThe two-way superstar returns this season, his 2023 campaign will be one to remember mlb History. But news came in late Wednesday that Ohtani had Suffered another UCL tear And this year again the incident of not pitching shook the sports world.

It also raised a series of questions, particularly regarding his future as a pitcher and in free agency.

fox mlb analyst ben verlander offered their initial thoughts on Ohtani’s injury and its potential wider ramifications.

How big a blow is this to the game of baseball?

Verlander: “It’s heartbreaking. We’re currently witnessing the biggest event ever, and this news is heartbreaking. I feel for him. I feel for baseball fans. I’m in it.” Feel for everyone involved.”

How much does this injury affect his chances of continuing to play both ways?

Verlander: “I’m not so concerned about his future as a two-way player. He’s been through it once, he’s faced all the questions we’ll hear now, and he’ll handle them all well when he returns.” replied. He can come back from this, if he needs to re-operate his UCL.”

What can be expected of the Ohtani pitcher if he needs another Tommy John surgery?

Verlander: “It’s hardly unheard of to return from two TJs. walker buehler He is on the verge of returning from his second innings. hyun-jin ryu Just got back from a second and looking great so far. There are many other starters who have done this.”

Should the Angels have maintained a six-man rotation?

Verlander: “My frustration with the Angels is at an all-time high. For months now, that guy has been pulled from games due to ‘fatigue.'” And we were told over and over again, ‘It’s just tiredness, it’s just tiredness.’ It was his body talking, but the Angels didn’t listen. Before last week, they kept throwing him in every fifth start. At some point, someone has to step up and say, ‘Your future is more important.’ I’m not quite sure it was for the Angels organization.”

Ohtani remains a strong contender to win the AL MVP. But in what capacity can he continue to serve as the designated hitter this year?

Verlander: “If Ohtani doesn’t play any more games this year, he’s the AL MVP. We could still see him at DH, but it will largely depend on second opinion and whether he decides to pick Tommy John.” . If he needs it, I think he should get it immediately. This organization doesn’t owe anything more than that.”

Shohei Ohtani launches MLB-leading 44th HR to give Angels lead over Reds

How will this injury affect the 29-year-old pitcher/slugger’s free agency?

Verlander: “His free agency now gets really interesting. It was bound to be a phenomenal conversation this offseason. No one.” In fact Knew what kind of contract he would get. Now, we have even less of an idea. I still think we’ll see him get $500 million if it’s a long term deal. But now we could see a one or two-year deal as a placeholder until it becomes clear how he recovers from it.

Could this situation really boost the Angels’ chances of keeping Ohtani?

Verlander: “I don’t think it makes the Angels more likely to re-sign him. I think it hurts them. He’s given them everything he’s got.”

Check back later on Thursday as the rest of our MLB staff writers reflect on the Ohtani news.

ben verlander MLB analyst for Fox Sports and host of “flippin batpodcast. Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Verlander was an All-American at Old Dominion University before joining his brother Justin in Detroit for the Tigers’ 14th round pick in 2013. He spent five years in the Tigers organization. Twitter follow him on @benverlander,

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