Shohei Ohtani has not pitched in a game for the Los Angeles Angels since April 4, the last game of their first series of the season against the Chicago White Sox. That day, he was on top of his game on the mound and at the plate.
As a pitcher, Ohtani went 4.2 innings, allowing only three runs (one earned), two hits, and five walks while striking out seven. His bat was incredibly impressive as well. He went just 1-for-3, but the one hit was a first inning, no-doubter home run.
He has not seen any action as a pitcher since then, as a blister held him out of his second scheduled start. The Angels did not have long-term concerns, but they wanted to make sure the blister was completely gone before they sent him back out to pitch.
After three increasingly long bullpen sessions, the Angels announced that Ohtani would make his anticipated return on Tuesday, Apr. 20, against the Texas Rangers, via Twitter:
Shohei Ohtani makes his return to the mound.
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) April 18, 2021
Along with the Ohtani news, the Angels announced that Dylan Bundy would be Monday’s starter while Jose Quintana — who was supposed to pitch on Saturday against the Minnesota Twins — will take the mound on Wednesday after the postponements.
Ohtani will not be fully stretched out by the time he heads out to pitch, so manager Joe Maddon has said that he’ll have a long reliever ready to go just in case. There has been no indication as to who that will be.
This serves as Ohtani’s second start of the season and first in 16 days. It will be important to watch after the game to see how his blister reacts and if there’s any possibility that he’ll have to miss more time. In addition, there has been no formal announcement of whether or not Ohtani will hit during Tuesday’s game as well.
Anthony Rendon progressing
The other Angels star currently dealing with an injury is Anthony Rendon, who is on the 10-day injured list with a groin strain. He is eligible to be activated on Wednesday, but Maddon is unclear if he’ll be able to play by then.