Shohei Ohtani has been in the Angels lineup as a hitter for almost every Los Angeles Angels game this season. However, minor injuries and issues have forced several of his pitching starts to be pushed back as the team remains cautious with that part of his game.
While he won’t miss his next start, it’s unclear when exactly it’s going to be. On Wednesday, in the Angels close win over the Colorado Rockies, Ohtani was sitting in the dugout when an errant foul ball somehow found its way to his thumb. There was no structural damage, meaning he could still hit without issue, but some lingering soreness pushed back his next start on the mound.
Originally, it was supposed to be on Sunday against the Athletics. Now, it’s softly scheduled for Monday against the Rangers. Joe Maddon joked about missing an opportunity to save Ohtani from such a silly injury, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“He got his finger stung on a foul ball in the dugout the other night,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said of Ohtani. “He tried to protect himself. It was a high chopper that came in here. It was too high, but I would’ve thrown myself in front of him.”
With Ohtani being moved back to Monday, it’s Jaime Barria that will take the mound on Saturday. Then, on Sunday, a new face will be joining the team. Since the Angels traded Andrew Heaney at the trade deadline and did not make a move for another starter, they will turn to Reid Detmers to make his Major League debut.
Hopefully, Ohtani is able to make his start on Monday without issue. Until then, expect him to be in the lineup as the designated hitter, attempting to get the Angels offense to score their first runs against the Athletics in over three games.
Heaney to Yankees
Heaney was one of two pitchers the Angels traded at the MLB trade deadline. Tony Watson was dealt to the San Francisco Giants for a big league reliever and two prospect relief pitchers. Meanwhile, Heaney was dealt to the New York Yankees, receiving quite the haul in return. The Angels received not one, but potentially two top-30 pitchers.