Shohei Ohtani’s next pitching start pushed back by Angels
When Sunday began, the Angels and New York Yankees were the top two teams in the American League wild-card race.
With only 135 games and five months to go.
Given this big-picture context, the Angels decided Shohei Ohtani will not make his next scheduled start, Tuesday against Baltimore, because of his sprained left ankle.
He’ll be pushed back to the weekend, when the Angels visit Seattle for three games starting Friday.
“There’s too much of the season left to try to push him,” manager Mike Scioscia said.
Ohtani was removed from Friday’s game against the Yankees and did not appear as the designated hitter Saturday or Sunday.
He played catch and did some light work in the bullpen Sunday.
“He’s just not right now ready to go out there and run full speed the way you would like to see,” Scioscia said. “We obviously want to err on the side of caution.”
Scioscia said Ohtani could return as DH as early as Tuesday.
The extra time off the mound will ensure that “he gets the proper workout to test it more instead of rushing him,” Scioscia said. “It’s the best course of action for Shohei and for us.”
Nick Tropeano will start against Baltimore on Tuesday followed by Andrew Heaney on Wednesday.
Ohtani was injured crossing the first base bag in circumstances Scioscia described as coincidental and awkward. He said the rookie did nothing wrong.
“That was not an issue of technique,” Scioscia said. “That happens sometimes when … the first baseman had his foot really on the middle of the bag and he was trying to avoid his foot.
“Neil Walker was playing there and he’s really a second baseman trying to play first base. He didn’t have his foot exactly where most first basemen would have it. But that’s just a convergence of things you can’t control.”
The Angels recalled reliever Akeel Morris from triple-A Salt Lake to take the roster spot of Eduardo Paredes, who was optioned after the game Saturday. … Shortstop Andrelton Simmons (forearm) went one for four as DH on Sunday. He was scratched from the starting lineup Saturday. Scioscia expects Simmons to be able to play the field Tuesday.
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