SEATTLE — When Shuhei Ohtani struck out for a single at bat in the first round of the 2023 All-Star Game at T-Mobile Park in Seattle on Tuesday, the Mariners crowd sent the Japanese star a powerful message: Come on! Seattle!
Loud chants have been heard since Ohtani — already the oldest candidate for AL MVP this year — stood in the hitter’s box opposite NL starter Zac Gallen. Ohtani, once again representing the Angels in the Midseason Classic, ended up getting hit against Gallen, but Seattle fans clearly got his message across.
“I’ve never experienced anything like this, but I’ve definitely heard about it,” Ohtani said. “I was just trying to focus on my role and the game.”
Ohtani, 29, will be a free agent after this season. There are rumors that he may be traded by the Angels before the August 1 deadline. Either way, there was speculation that the pitcher/hitter might get a $500 million contract as a free agent in the winter of 2023-24.
So far in 2023, Ohtani hits .302/.387/.663 with 32 home runs, 71 RBI and 182 OPS+. He is the major league leader in home runs, slugging percentage, and OPS (1.050), among other divisions.
As a pitcher, Ohtani is 7-4 in 17 starts, with a 3.32 ERA and 132 strikeouts, posting an ERA+ of 133.
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