Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani dazzled in his first and only start of the 2021 season. In 4.2 innings, Ohtani gave up three runs — only one of them earned — while striking out seven, giving him an ERA of just 1.93.
That was over one week ago, and he has not pitched again. With a six-man rotation, the Angels planned on allowing every starter to pitch once per week and get an extra day of rest. It was going exactly as planned until a blister that popped up during Spring Training came back for Ohtani.
Out of caution, the Angels decided to skip his next start. But as they revealed the three starting pitchers for their series against the Kansas City Royals, Ohtani’s name was left off the list once again, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
As a result of the postponed game, the Angels had to push back their starting pitchers a day. Right-hander Alex Cobb was slated to start on Sunday, but he will now get the nod in the series opener against the Royals on Monday at Kauffman Stadium. Righty Dylan Bundy will now start on Tuesday, while righty Griffin Canning is set to start on Wednesday.
The Angels did not have much information on Ohtani’s status. Only that he’ll throw a bullpen session on Monday to see his potential availability for a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins over the weekend.
Two-way star Shohei Ohtani could also see his next start pushed back as a result, but the Angels will know more soon, as he’s tentatively scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Monday in Kansas City. If all goes well, he could return to the mound at some point during a three-game series against the Twins that begins on Friday.
The Angels went into the 2021 season with the mindset that they were going to let Ohtani simply play baseball, instead of micromanaging his every pitch or at-bat. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t — and shouldn’t — be cautious when it comes to injury.
Hopefully, Ohtani’s blister has healed to the point where he can start at Angel Stadium against the Twins this upcoming weekend. That will give him two weeks between starts and should give a great chance to pitch against one of the better teams in the American League.
Dexter Fowler out for season
After initial diagnoses of a knee contusion and a knee sprain, additional testing revealed a torn ACL in the knee of Dexter Fowler. Because of this, he will miss the remainder of the season. The Angels will turn to Juan Lagares, Jose Rojas, and Jared Walsh in the meantime.
They also will eventually turn to the alternate training site, where they currently have Jon Jay, Scott Schebler, Jo Adell, and others to pick from.