Blister healed, Shohei Ohtani to start Tuesday for the Angels against Rangers
Shohei Ohtani is scheduled to make his second pitching start of the season Tuesday against the Texas Rangers, the Angels announced. It will be Ohtani’s first time pitching in a game since April 4 because of a blister on his right middle finger.
Although the 26-year-old two-way star has excelled offensively, batting .333 with a 1.076 on-base-plus-slugging percentage and four home runs as the team’s primary designated hitter, his blister has limited him to just a single 4⅔-inning start against the Chicago White Sox in the Angels’ opening series.
The right-hander looked sharp that night, giving up three runs (one earned) with seven strikeouts. He exceeded 100 mph on nine of his 92 pitches. And he also hit second in the batting order, launching a 115 mph home run in his first at-bat.
But the blister, which Ohtani first developed during spring training, became an issue near the end of his outing, when his command began to fade. The following week, the Angels decided to delay his next start to let the blister heal.
MLB postponed the Angels’ games scheduled for Saturday and Sunday against visiting Minnesota because of the Twins’ multiple positive COVID-19 tests.
Since then, Ohtani has thrown three bullpen sessions, all without a bandage on his finger. The latest came Saturday, when he threw 30 pitches at Angel Stadium.
Ohtani isn’t expected to be fully stretched out after his two-week layoff, so the Angels are preparing to have another reliever piggyback his start Tuesday if needed.
The Angels, whose Saturday and Sunday games against the Minnesota Twins this weekend were postponed after several positive coronavirus tests within the Twins organization, also announced that Dylan Bundy would start the series opener against the Rangers on Monday. José Quintana, originally scheduled to start Saturday, will start Wednesday.
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