It appears the Angels weren’t the only ones who lost Shohei Ohtani to injury Friday.
The sport’s first regular two-way standout since Babe Ruth looked to be a shoo-in for the American League roster in the All-Star game, which will be held July 17 in Washington D.C.
It seems a bit farfetched to think Ohtani could still be able to play.
Ohtani suffered a grade 2 sprain of his right ulnar collateral ligament and was placed on the 10-day disabled list after receiving a platelet-rich plasma and stem cell injection.
He will avoid throwing until he is reevaluated in three weeks, the Angels hoping he heals enough to avoid ligament replacement surgery.
Mike Trout, who missed last year’s All-Star game because of a thumb injury that sidelined him six weeks, said he thinks Ohtani should attend the festivities even if he isn’t able to play.
“100%,” Mike Trout said when asked if he’d advise Ohtani to go. “The experience is unbelievable. From the (home run) derby to the game, the atmosphere, the fans. It’s just a great experience.”
Having perhaps his finest season yet, Trout is expected to make the 2018 American League team and, with Ohtani hurt, may be the Angels’ lone participant.
Ohtani’s injury was diagnosed after his start Wednesday, when he noticeably struggled with his command.
The problem was initially thought to be a blister that affected Ohtani in April. Watching from his position in center field, however, Trout said he suspected something worse.
“I just had a weird feeling that something wasn't right,” Trout said Saturday. “He said he was fine, still throwing 94, 95 (mph). But he didn’t know where it was going.”
Ohtani didn’t travel with the Angels on this trip, instead remaining in Southern California for treatment.
Trout said he hasn’t spoken to the rookie since his diagnosis but will do so when the Angels return home June 17.
“Just to bring him up a little bit,” Trout explained. “I’m sure he’s pretty down. He was having a great season so far. You just gotta stay positive, tell yourself it’s a little setback.
“Everybody is going to be pumping him positive thoughts. You can’t do anything about it now. You just gotta get it better.”
Angels radio play-by-play broadcaster Terry Smith continues to improve and is expected to return to the booth Monday in Seattle.
He left the game Friday night to receive medical attention for an irregular heartbeat. He was released from a local hospital early Saturday morning.
The Angels still are offering no timetables for the returns of either Andrelton Simmons (sprained ankle) or Kole Calhoun (strained oblique). Neither traveled with the team for the start of this trip.
Simmons was hurt Tuesday and spent the final day of the team’s homestand on crutches.