Shohei Ohtani Declined Imaging after Leaving Aug. 3 Start with Cramping, Angels GM Perry Minasian Says

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
Los Angeles Angels manager Phil Nevin, center, talks with starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani before taking him out of the game due to arm fatigue during the second inning in the first baseball game of a doubleheader Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023, in Anaheim, Calif.

NEW YORK (AP) — Shohei Ohtani declined imaging after he left an Aug. 3 start against Seattle after four innings and 59 pitches because of cramping in his pitching hand and fingers, Los Angeles Angels general manager Perry Minasian said Saturday.

Ohtani returned to the mound six days later and beat San Francisco, throwing 97 pitches over six innings while allowing only an unearned run. He then skipped a turn, citing fatigue.

Ohtani was removed from Wednesday’s game against Cincinnati after his 26th pitch, and a scan revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament.

“The only time we had imaging was after he felt the injury,” Minasian said. “The imaging was offered earlier in the year and him and his representation turned it down.”

Ohtani remained in the game against the Mariners as the designated hitter and went 1 for 4 with an RBI. Minasian didn’t fault the lack of a scan then.

“I understand why,” he said. “It was a cramp in his finger, and they didn’t think it warranted imaging.”

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 28, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Los Angeles Angels general manager Perry Minasian walks out of the dugout during batting practice before a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

Ohtani has not spoken with the media since the injury was revealed Wednesday. He is remaining in the Angels lineup as the DH and the team said Ohtani hasn’t determined whether he will have a second Tommy John surgery.

“Me, personally, I have zero regrets,” Minasian said. “There’s injuries that happen in baseball. This is an unfortunate one. It’s obviously tough for us, tough for him, and tough for the game.”

Ohtani had his first Tommy John surgery in late 2018, following his AL Rookie of the Year season. Minasian said this injury was to a different part of the elbow and produced a different set of symptoms.