Shohei Ohtani is an impossible talent to replicate. That is, unless it’s picture day.
The Angels’ photo day was Tuesday, as the full roster and staff were in attendance in order to say cheese and get their official picture taken. Everyone except Ohtani.
The two-way star was notably absent from picture day. Rather than reschedule for another day, the Angels went through with it and elected to use a body double in Ohtani’s place for the photo.
It appears there was a stand in for Ohtani at photo day, who was escorted back off the field through the bullpen exit. pic.twitter.com/FP8z8FQqxn
— Sarah Valenzuela (@Sarah_IsabelVee) September 5, 2023
If you take a closer look at the body double you will see he does not look like Ohtani … at all.
There he is, the greatest baseball player ever, Shohei Ohtani pic.twitter.com/ImWCMZMoHo
— Razzball (@Razzball) September 6, 2023
The good news is that Ohtani will still be included in the picture. Someone in the creative department eventually will Photoshop Ohtani’s face over the body double, as the body is really only what’s needed.
It’s unclear why Ohtani missed out on picture day. Neither the Angels nor Ohtani’s camp gave a specific reason for his absence. He didn’t arrive to the Angels clubhouse until after the picture was taken.
MORE: Latest news, updates on Shohei Ohtani’s elbow injury
The picture day absence is just another bump in what has been a rocky couple of weeks for Ohtani, who is set to be a free agent after this season.
Shohei Ohtani injury update
Ohtani was not just absent for picture day Tuesday. He also was scratched from the Los Angeles lineup as he continues to deal with his elbow injury.
According to manager Phil Nevin, Ohtani wanted to play in the second game of the series against the Orioles, however Nevin was “not gonna let him.” It was the second consecutive game that the Japanese star was not in the lineup.
“I just felt like today was not a good day for him,” Nevin said. “So we’ll see how he feels tomorrow. If he comes in and tells me ‘I feel good’ and he passes all tests, then I’ll have a decision to make.”
Ohtani tore his ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow in August. As a result, he has been shut down from pitching for the rest of the season, but his bat will remain an option in the lineup at DH.
MORE: Can Ohtani still hit with a torn UCL?
The next step for Ohtani and the Angels is deciding on what needs to be done to repair the ligament. A second Tommy John surgery for Ohtani is an option, however The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported that there was another operation that Ohtani could get that would be something of a hybrid surgery, which would keep Ohtani off of the mound for an extended time.
“I think it’s inevitable that there will be some type of procedure,” Ohtani’s agent, Naz Balelo, said on Monday. “What that procedure looks like, and when, and what type of procedure, is what we’re gathering right now. Clearly there’s been multiple opinions and we’re not just banking on one or two, we’re really trying to educate ourselves in this situation.”