Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani was supposed to pitch on Tuesday against the New York Yankees. The Angels ultimately won that game with Jaime Barria getting the start, but Ohtani was solely the designated hitter.
The reason for his start being delayed was a 93 mph fastball he took on the wrist during their weekend series with the San Diego Padres. This is not the first time that Ohtani has been forced to postpone a pitching assignment for this reason, but he was allowed to continue hitting in the process.
The Angels have set Ohtani’s next start for Friday against the Texas Rangers, as they now feel his wrist has healed enough to give it a go. Joe Maddon spoke about Ohtani’s pitching plan for the remainder of the season after an encouraging bullpen session, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“There might be a little more time between starts,” Maddon said. “But even if we shortened that time, it would be the same number of starts, if that makes sense. There are no plans to shut him down. The plan is for him to continue doing this.”
Ohtani has not pitched quite enough innings to qualify, but he is putting together a Cy Young-quality season on the mound while being a dominant power hitter.
When he takes the mound on Friday, he’ll be coming in with an 8-1 record and a 3.00 ERA over 19 starts. In 105 innings of work, Ohtani has 127 strikeouts. He’ll hope to improve those numbers even farther against the reeling Rangers.
Given that the Angels have been very cautious with his pitching workload, often giving him six or more days in between starts, it’s possible that Ohtani only has about four or five outings left this season. Including Friday, L.A. has 28 games remaining on their schedule.
As his historic season comes to a close, the hope is that he continues to put on a show for fans while the Angels get a better idea of what they have going into next season.
Packy Naughton impresses Maddon in first career start
Although it was in a losing effort, Packy Naughton put together a solid performance in his first MLB start. He allowed three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out two batter over 3.2 innings pitched.
Maddon was impressed by Naughton, and said that he wouldn’t be upset if he remained in the rotation for the rest of the season to continue evaluating.