ANAHEIM – After Shohei Ohtani was scratched from his scheduled start on Monday because his elbow was hit by a blow the day before, Angel’s manager Joe Maddon suggested that these interruptions could potentially have a silver lining.
Ohtani previously missed two weeks pitching because of a bubble, and that delay will push him back at least until Wednesday or Thursday and possibly the weekend.
« The bigger concern is that he’s going to take on that role, and by the middle of the year you won’t really feel comfortable where he is, » Maddon said, referring to Ohtani’s workload. « All of those little built-in bumps on the road might not be a bad thing, so he can go deeper into the year with no worries. »
Ohtani only threw 1-2 / 3 innings in the majors in 2019 and 2020 together after undergoing surgery from Tommy John in 2018. The last year he threw more than 52 innings was in Japan in 2016. While Maddon often said the Angels didn’t have an innings limit in mind for Ohtani, they probably wouldn’t have wanted him to serve the amount of innings he could possibly have if he started every sixth game throughout the year.
The angels are still used almost to the maximum by Ohtani in the line-up, even during the interruptions of his pitching schedule. He was the DH the entire time he was on the bladder, and he was the DH on Monday night.
« He’s just too sore to throw, » said Maddon. “After getting hit in the elbow, I found it inappropriate for him to go out and serve the next day. It hurts, but it doesn’t hurt to swing a bat. It would be difficult to go there and try to throw 90 to 100 pitches at 95 to 100 miles per hour. We just wanted it to take a day or two to relax and then we’ll do another review. »
The angels are well equipped for Ohtani – or any starter – to miss a start because they have a six-man rotation. The angels just pushed up the other pitchers, so it was Ohtani’s turn to José Quintana on Monday, and Alex Cobb is scheduled for Tuesday. Andrew Heaney, Griffin Canning and Dylan Bundy are on the line until the Angels are ready to reinstate Ohtani.
Maddon said he has no intention of changing his willingness to have Ohtani meet with Ohtani about the incident the day before his scheduled pitch.
« He could be hit two days earlier and still not be able to throw, » said Maddon. « I’m not just taking days away from him because of a freak accident. I’m usually not done with all of my things. That’s just part of the game. How about he stole two bases right after that? How about it after that with the bats? That’s the stuff, man, and that’s a growth moment for him. He said, « You hit me, I’m going to steal two bases. » I couldn’t have loved this moment more than yesterday.
Reid Detmers, the Angels’ top draft pick last June, will be the opening day for Double-A Rocket City (Ala.) on Tuesday. In addition to intrasquad games and exhibitions, it will be his first official game as a professional.
Detmers is believed to be much closer to the big leagues than a typical player at his level of experience, but Maddon said he has yet to prove himself in the minors.
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« I’m a huge fan, » said Maddon. « We’re all big fans, but I think he has to go out and pitch well for a long period of time. » Whatever that means. If some guy turns it off in a month, that might be good enough, but we’ll see. I hate setting timeframes for something like this other than he has to be successful as a triple A pitcher before he gets the chance to succeed as a major league pitcher. »
The angels have put Mike Mayers relief mug on the list of injured without declaring an injury, and they expect it back within a few days. That could mean he’s out because of contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 or because of side effects from a vaccination. Left-handed Patrick Sandoval was activated to replace Mayers. …
José Iglesias was off the line-up for the first time in the entire season, and David Fletcher switched to shortstop at his first start of the season. José Rojas had his first regular season start on the second base. …
Reliever Aaron Slegers received his American League pennant ring from representatives of the Tampa Bay Rays ahead of Monday’s game.
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