Shohei Ohtani Exits Angels vs. White Sox After Suffering Groin Injury

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 1, 2022

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 19: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels looks for an umpire to check his equipment after pitching in the first inning of the game against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 19, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani was removed from Sunday's game against the Chicago White Sox with an apparent injury.

Per the Angels public relations team, Ohtani left the game with right groin tightness.

He was lifted in the top of the ninth inning for pinch hitter Jack Mayfield with the Angels holding a 4-0 lead. Mayfield drove in an insurance run with an RBI single. 

After the game, Ohtani said he didn't anticipate missing any time because of the injury.

"I was taken out of the game by the trainers, and I was completely OK with it," Ohtani told reporters (via his interpreter Ippei Mizuhara). "But as of right now, I plan on playing tomorrow."

Injuries precluded MLB fans from getting to see the full extent of what the Japanese pitcher can do on a baseball diamond through his first three seasons. While the Angels utilized him as a designated hitter, he made 12 combined starts from 2018 to 2020.

The 27-year-old remained healthy in 2021, and the result was a year unlike any the sport has witnessed in generations. He slugged .592 with 46 home runs and an MLB-best eight triples while posting a 3.18 ERA and striking out 156 batters over 23 starts on the mound.

Ohtani's two-way success was honored with the American League MVP Award.

For the Angels, however, 2021 was yet another year in which they failed to make the playoffs, running their postseason drought to seven seasons.

The 2022 season has started well for the Angels. They entered Sunday leading the AL West with a 14-8 record, and the offense is tied with the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants for most runs scored in MLB (104).

If the Angels have to play without Ohtani for any period of time, Mike Trout, Taylor Ward and Anthony Rendon will be relied on to carry the offense. The already-thin starting rotation might have to adjust without him.

Noah Syndergaard was scratched from his scheduled start Friday with an undisclosed illness. Ohtani leads the team with 19.1 innings pitched and 30 strikeouts in four starts.

The Angels play one more game against the White Sox on Monday before starting a three-game series at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday.