HomeMLBShohei Ohtani coping with sore thumb

Shohei Ohtani coping with sore thumb

ANAHEIM – Two-way star Shohei Ohtani’s next start on the hill remains to be determined as he is still grappling with a sore thumb struck by an illegal ball in the Angels’ dugout on Wednesday.

Angels manager Joe Maddon said Ohtani is expected to serve either late in her four-game series against Rangers in Texas, which runs Monday through Thursday, or early in her three-game set at Dodger Stadium next weekend. But the injury still does not affect him as a hitter and he was the designated hitter and second against the A’s on Sunday.

“He’ll be at the end of Texas or the beginning of LA at best,” Maddon said. “But I don’t have a specific day yet. We just want to be sure. It hurts, but it gets better. We just don’t want him to go out there if it bothers him. No setbacks. We just want him to be healed and ready to throw before he goes out. “

One benefit of waiting for Ohtani to take on the Dodgers would be that he could pit for himself under National League rules. Otherwise, if he pitches in Texas, he could be relegated to pinch-hit duties against the Dodgers. He could also play the outfield in the Freeway Series to get at-bats, though the Angels might be wary due to the injury.

“We have played the National League game without him in the past but there is absolutely an advantage,” said Maddon of Ohtani, who set with the NL rules. “But we still haven’t [the date] still.”

The injury also allows Ohtani to rest a little more before the stretch run. He’s made 15 starts this season and posted a 3.04 ERA with 100 strikeouts over 80 innings. His last start came on Monday when he allowed a seven innings run in a win over the Rockies. Maddon said he would prefer Ohtani to be healthy and in rotation, but hinted that Ohtani is comfortable while he is on longer rest and that this injury will not interfere with his routine.

“No matter how much time he has between starts, he’s still the same,” said Maddon. “I’m not worried that he will throw 100 pitches after a few extra days off, and I also think that the extra rest will really keep him going. He is unique. Whatever he does between starts is minimal, and then he goes out and does what you see. When pushed back, I don’t mind as much as some other guys who are really used to structure. “

As for the club’s other injured stars, first baseman Jared Walsh (right intercostal load) is closer to returning than midfielder Mike Trout (right calf load) and third baseman Anthony Rendon (left achilles tendon load).

Walsh has been able to swing a bat and participate in baseball activities while Trout is about to step up his running. However, Rendon has yet to start baseball activities. Trout will need a rehab assignment before returning; It’s unclear whether Walsh or Rendon will need one.


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