Shohei Ohtani to miss start against Rays a day after getting hit by a pitch
Left-hander José Quintana will start the opener of a four-game series against the Rays in Angel Stadium. Ohtani will bat second in the lineup as the designated hitter.
Ohtani was struck in the right elbow pad by a 93.4-mph fastball from Mariners starter Justus Sheffield in the first inning of Sunday’s 2-0 loss, but the two-way star remained in the game, taking three more at-bats and finishing the day with two stolen bases.
The Angels, who believed they upgraded their infield and had a big commitment to improve in the outfield, are one of the worst defensive teams in MLB.
Maddon said he “wasn’t sure” if Ohtani would pitch in the Rays series. If not, he would likely pitch in this weekend’s Freeway Series against the Dodgers. To fill Ohtani’s spot in the six-man rotation, Alex Cobb will be moved from Wednesday to Tuesday night and Andrew Heaney will pitch Wednesday.
Maddon said Ohtani told him he felt like he’d been struck on the funny bone and that Ohtani said the elbow was “feeling better” as the game progressed.
But the Angels are not about to risk sending the hard-throwing Ohtani to the mound with a sore elbow after he was unable to pitch for most of 2018, all of 2019 and most of 2020 because of an elbow ligament tear that led to Tommy John surgery after the 2018 season.
Highlights from the Angels’ 2-0 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.
Ohtani has battled command problems in his three starts this season, going 1-0 with a 3.29 ERA, 23 strikeouts and 13 walks in 13 2/3 innings. He has been a force at the plate, batting .263 with a .917 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, eight homers and 20 RBIs.
Quintana, who signed a one-year, $8-million deal with the Angels last winter, is 0-2 with a 10.13 ERA in his first four starts, striking out 19 and walking 13 in 13 1/3 innings.
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