Shohei Ohtani is the starter for the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night against the Oakland Athletics. He is making his regularly scheduled start, and he is hopeful to go deep enough into the game that the Angels won’t have to use a significant number of bullpen arms.
The reason for this has been an ongoing lack of clarity surrounding the spot in the rotation after Ohtani. Last turn, it was Janson Junk who got a spot start the day after Ohtani, only to be removed after giving up six runs in 2.1 innings of work. He was then optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake, re-opening the spot in the rotation.
The Angels must once again figure out who takes that start on Wednesday afternoon, with a 12:37 p.m. PT first pitch in Oakland. And according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register, it may come down to what happens in Tuesday’s game.
The Angels have not decided who will start in the series finale on Wednesday. Nevin said it depends who they need to use in relief on Monday and Tuesday. Touki Toussaint would be the freshest option, if he’s not used on Monday or Tuesday. Jaime Barria and Mike Mayers would both have to pitch on three days rest if they start on Wednesday.
Touki Toussaint — mentioned as the freshest and most likely player to make this start — did not pitch on Monday night. In fact, only Aaron Loup and Ryan Tepera were used after Jose Suarez went seven innings. If Ohtani can replicate that, the Angels may be able to get a legitimate start by Toussaint.
Toussaint was supposed to pitch on Saturday against the Seattle Mariners, but Junk’s early exit last Thursday forced him into a long relief outing. That may have been a blessing in disguise, though, as he now is on a full five days rest ahead of Wednesday.
Alternate options for Wednesday
If Ohtani is unable to go deep into Tuesday’s game and the Angels are forced to use Toussaint, it would effectively create a bullpen game on Wednesday. Jaime Barria and Mike Mayers would be able to pitch 3-4 innings at most given when they most recently pitched.
Mayers was stretched out as a starter in Triple-A, meaning he would be able to take the bulk of a bullpen game, even on short rest.