Shohei Ohtani won’t return to Angels for at least another week

Seattle Mariners v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Shohei Ohtani waits to take batting practice prior to the April 19 game against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium.
(Victor Decolongon / Getty Images)

Manager Brad Ausmus said Tuesday that Shohei Ohtani will not join the Angels this weekend in Monterrey, Mexico, ruling out Ohtani joining the lineup until May 7 at the earliest.

“They want to progress it slowly, from a medical standpoint, to make sure he’s not overloaded on his [surgically repaired right] elbow,” Ausmus said.

The Angels planned for Ohtani to get 40 at-bats in simulated games. He reached the 25 mark after taking five at-bats against a left-handed pitcher Monday.

To this point, Ohtani has not experienced a setback in his rehabilitation. He’s hit on a regular basis since the beginning of February and has incorporated flat-ground throwing without reporting discomfort.


But the Angels prefer to be cautious. They will continue his hitting program in Anaheim, likely beyond 40 at-bats, until they can be sure the stress of hitting major league pitching will not undo the progress he’s made since undergoing ligament replacement surgery on his throwing arm in October.

The Angels begin a four-city, 11-game trip Saturday when they face the Houston Astros for two games at the Estadio de Beisbol in Monterrey. The Angels’ next homestand begins May 17.

Heaney making progress

Andrew Heaney threw his third bullpen session since receiving a cortisone shot in his inflamed left elbow Tuesday. The format emulated a game situation: He sat between two innings for eight minutes then continued throwing. He threw 35 pitches and made use of his entire arsenal.

The next step for Heaney, who has been sidelined since spring training, is to face live hitters. Ausmus wasn’t sure when that would be.


“I gotta get past the hurdles before we start planning anything further,” Heaney said, and added, “Today was a good day. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.”

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Short hops

Rookie Luis Rengifo started his fifth straight game at second base since joining the roster last week. The Angels want to see Rengifo play as often as possible before Zack Cozart recovers from the neck strain that sent him to the 10-day injured list last week. As a result, infielder David Fletcher has received limited chances in the lineup. fellow … To make room for top pitching prospect Griffin Canning on the 25-man roster, the Angels designated for assignment right-hander John Curtiss . . . . Canning wore No. 47, which former Angels infielder Howie Kendrick wore from 2006 to 2014. Six Angels have used the number since Kendrick’s departure.


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