"He signed up here to help us win a championship” - Dave Roberts addresses Shohei Ohtani skipping 2024 MLB Home Run Derby

Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a two-run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium (Source: Getty)
Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a two-run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium (Source: Getty)

While the baseball world was left surprised when Shohei Ohtani counted himself out of the 2024 MLB Home Run Derby, manager Dave Roberts has explained that the slugger's sight is set on the championship. The Japanese two-way star has been limited to the role of DH this season after undergoing elbow surgery last year.

Despite his impressive hitting numbers, Roberts explained that Ohtani is still in the middle of his elbow rehab and doesn't want anything to jeopardize it:

"He signed up here to help us win a championship and nothing should get in the way of that. In any other normal situation where he wasn't rehabbing, I think he would love to participate."

Shohei Ohtani took the MLB by storm when he moved from Japan's NPB to join the Los Angeles Angels in 2018. Having established himself as a generational talent by winning two MVP awards, he earned a record-breaking move to the Los Angeles Dodgers last year.

Since then, Ohtani has hit the ground running despite undergoing rehab on his elbow, which has kept him out of pitching duties. Nonetheless, he has been one of the best hitters in the majors this season with 27 homers, second to only Aaron Judge's tally.

The only time Ohtani took part in the Home Run Derby was in 2021 when he exited in the first round. While he hopes to take part in the competition in the future, manager Dave Roberts is glad that Ohtani's focus is on winning the World Series this year.

Shohei Ohtani's 27th home run of the season hits young fan in the forehead

Shohei Ohtani launched his 27th home run of the season on Tuesday to help the Los Angeles Dodgers record a narrow 6-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. However, the 449-foot blast that left his bat at 112 mph, hit a young fan in the stands.

As Ohtani was rounding the bases after the impressive hit, a video replay of the home run in slow motion showed that it landed on a child's forehead while fans attempted to catch the ball.

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Edited by Chaitanya Prakash
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