Shohei Ohtani will return to the Angels lineup as the designated hitter for Thursday’s series finale against the Seattle Mariners in T-Mobile Park.
Ohtani, who will bat cleanup against Seattle right-hander Taijuan Walker, missed the first two games of the series because of discomfort in his sprained right elbow, an injury he sustained in Sunday’s game against Houston and that will prevent him from pitching for the rest of this season.
Rookie right fielder Jo Adell is not in the lineup because of quadriceps tightness. He experienced a rough night defensively Wednesday, when a key two-run double by Austin Nola in the seventh inning of Seattle’s 7-6 win fell between him and center fielder Mike Trout.
Justin Upton, who manager Joe Maddon said would platoon with Brian Goodwin in left field so Adell could play right, gets the start despite striking out three times Wednesday. Goodwin is starting in right field.
Before the game, the Angels optioned utility man Matt Thaiss and pitcher Jose Rodriguez off their big league roster, which had to be trimmed from 30 players to 28.
The move will leave the Angels thin at first base, with infielder Tommy La Stella and utility man Taylor Ward, neither of whom has much experience at the position, backing up Albert Pujols.
1. David Fletcher — Shortstop
2. Mike Trout — Center field
3. Anthony Rendon — Third base
4. Shohei Ohtani — Designated hitter
5. Tommy La Stella — First base
6. Justin Upton — Left field
7. Brian Goodwin — Right Field
8. Max Stassi — Catcher
9. Luis Rengifo — Second base
Dylan Bundy — Starting pitcher