The Los Angeles Angels have failed to make the postseason for the past eight years, last making the playoffs two years earlier. shohei ohtani burst onto the scene.
Ohtani has been masterful in his first five seasons, winning AL MVP in 2021 and setting numerous records as the modern day Babe Ruth.
However, Ohtani’s brilliance has not led to a win, with the angels failing finish above .500 in each of his five seasons.
LOS ANGELES’ PLAYOFF HOPES TAKE A DRASTIC TURN AFTER INJURIES TO SHOHEI OHTANI AND MIKE TROUT IN CONSECUTIVE GAMES
It seems to be affecting Ohtani, who has made it clear that he values winning as his big payday approaches.
“Those feelings get stronger year after year,” Ohtani said Monday through his interpreter Ippei Mizuhara, according to The Athletic. «It sucks to lose. [I want] gain.»
Ohtani is in the final year of his contract with the Angels, signing a one-year, $30 million contract in October to avoid arbitration.
The two-way star is expected to sign the largest deal in Major League Baseball history when he becomes a free agent at the end of the season.
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«I’ve never been a free agent before, so I’m not sure what that’s going to be like,» Ohtani said. «I’m focused on this season right now. I just want to do my best this year and try to get as many wins as possible.»
Ohtani comes from a month in which his domain was in sight, throwing 15 home runs and hitting .394 at the plate while posting a 3.26 ERA on the mound.
It didn’t lead to victory, however, as the Angels went 14-13 in June and are 45-46 in the star restlosers in nine of their last 10 games.
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LA could explore the trade market for Ohtani before the Aug. 1 deadline, though the Angels have shown no interest in doing so.
«Obviously, he doesn’t have control over all the trade stuff, so he tries not to think about it, he just focuses on the game that day,» Mizuhara said on behalf of Ohtani, according to ESPN. «That’s the hardest part of trying to win ballgames every day.»
Based on Ohtani’s comments, the Angels need to win, and they need to win now, but LA will enter the second half of MLB with significant injuries. mike trout suffered a fractured hamate bone in his left wrist and Anthony Rendon has been out since July 4.
The Angels will need to be healthy if they want to make a postseason run and fulfill Ohtani’s desire to win.