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Why is Shohei Ohtani struggling with the Dodgers? Dave Roberts explains

The Dodgers manager has a theory on why the Japanese designated hitter star is having a tough time lately.

The Dodgers manager has a theory on why the Japanese designated hitter star is having a tough time lately.

Losing streaks is part of sports, and all players go through them at some point in each season, especially in baseball, with 162 games over a regular season. In the case of Shohei Ohtani, the situation is aggravated by being one of the most talented and highest-paid MLB players. It is almost unthinkable that the Japanese star can go through one.

The reality is the Dodgers’ designated hitter has been the team’s best offensive player this year, with 14 home runs and 38 RBIs in 230 at-bats. But since mid-May there has been a decline in his performance, and in the last 15 games, Ohtani is hitting .193 with two home runs and eight RBIs. He also has 15 strikeouts, five walks, and only one double.

Dave Roberts defends Shohei Ohtani

Despite his numbers, Ohtani -the last MVP league winner- received the support of his Dodgers manager. Dave Roberts has a theory on why the designated hitter is struggling lately.

It should be noted that Ohtani had to deal with a betting scandal, although the MLB cleared him of any potential wrongdoing. He was also injured and he’s trying to get rid of his right elbow issues to pitch again in 2025.

“He’s a finely tuned machine, and sometimes, in the context of a sports car, when it’s not firing on all cylinders, it just doesn’t run right. When his back was bothering him a little bit [in early May] you saw some funkier swings, a little bit more chase. His hamstring is bothering him a little bit, you see a little bit of the same thing. But I think he’s getting close to where he needs to be physically. I think that staying to the big part of the field is a remedy,” said Roberts.

The Dodgers manager highlighted that Shohei Ohtani had problems with his back and hamstrings and despite that, he has been hitting in almost every game. This has also made that the Dodgers’ offense hasn’t been performing at a high level in recent games. However, they remain in the NL West top spot ahead of second-placed San Diego Padres.