Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani has been scratched as the starter for Monday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Jose Quintana will start in place of Ohtani in the first of a three-game set against the reigning American League champions.
No official reason has been given for the change, but it can be assumed that it is due to Ohtani getting hit by a pitch in his elbow during Sunday’s game. In the first inning of the Angels loss to the Seattle Mariners, Ohtani was hit directly on his elbow padding. He stayed in for the remainder of the game, finishing 0-for-3 with two stolen bases.
After the game, word from the Angels was that Ohtani sore and that it was too early to tell if he was going to be able to pitch. Clearly, the Angels decided to be careful with their two-way star, a stance they’ve taken throughout his career.
It has not been decided yet whether or not Ohtani will hit in the lineup on Monday. The lineup will be announced closer to first pitch, and Ohtani could go through batting practice before deciding whether or not he wants to or can play.
The Angels have also not announced when Ohtani will start next. The team has not been very consistent on how far ahead of time they announce their starters. And much like Ohtani’s blister, they likely want to take it day by day before making any decisions.
Joe Maddon says Ohtani is on a different level
Prior to him being ruled out of Monday’s game, Angels manager Joe Maddon had a host of good words for the team’s two-way star. He started by comparing him to Yu Darvish, who Maddon worked with during his time with the Chicago Cubs.
He then went on to say that Ohtani is on a different level when it comes to his ability to include new pitches into his arsenal and constantly work to improve his game. This is before even mentioning the slugging ability.