Japanese pitcher/hitter Shohei Otani is expected to miss up to six weeks with a thigh muscle strain, the Associated Press reported on Sunday. Otani injured his left thigh during the Nippon Ham Fighters’ game on Saturday when he tried to leg out a single.
This is the second significant injury Otani has sustained this year after rehabbing an injured ankle in February. He has yet to pitch for the Nippon Ham Fighters in 2017, and, according to the report, is expected to increase his focus on batting this season.
Otani’s prowess as the best pitcher and one of the best hitters in NPB is well-documented, and he told 60 Minutes that he intends to sign with an MLB club after the 2017 season. Due to international spending caps that kicked in with the latest collective bargaining agreement, Otani’s signing bonus would likely fall between $4.75 and 10 million, a bargain for any major league suitor given the 22-year-old’s versatility and breathtaking success in Japan.