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OC Register: Angels sit Shohei Ohtani against another lefty, set him for Sunday start on the mound

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Shohei Ohtani has been available to be the designated hitter twice so far when the Angels have faced left-handed starters.

He has not started either time.

After leaving Ohtani out of the lineup on Tuesday against Texas lefty Martín Pérez, Manager Mike Scioscia said “it doesn’t matter” if the Angels are facing a righty or a lefty when it comes to his decisions about Ohtani hitting.

In Japan, Ohtani hit .309 against lefties and .279 against righties.

Scioscia, who also didn’t play the left-handed hitting Ohtani against Oakland’s Sean Manaea, suggested that they’ll “look for Shohei to DH in this series and probably early in Kansas City.” The only game remaining in the series is Wednesday, with another lefty, Matt Moore, starting for the Rangers.

Ohtani is now officially scheduled to pitch on Sunday, so he would be available to hit on Thursday and Friday in Kansas City.

For what it’s worth, Martín Pérez, the Rangers’ starter on Tuesday, was one of the few big league pitchers who actually faced Ohtani in spring training. Ohtani went hitless in two at-bats against Pérez.

Ohtani was caught by television cameras with a band aid on his finger during Monday’s game. Pitching coach Charlie Nagy said Ohtani has had blister problems from throwing his splitter since spring training, but it’s not a serious issue.

“All’s good,” Nagy said.

Another part of the equation is that Albert Pujols needs to play first base whenever Ohtani is the designated hitter. Scioscia said there was no physical reason Pujols needed to DH on Tuesday, but he conceded that “I think we’re trying to keep a lot of guys fresh.”

Scioscia said it was also a routine day off for Kole Calhoun, another left-handed hitter.rn


rnIan Kinsler is expected to be activated on Thursday, according to Scioscia.

“He’ll work out again (Wednesday), and we’ll see if he’s far enough along, which we anticipate,” Scioscia said.rn


rnGarrett Richards will start on Saturday in Kansas City. The Angels remain undecided on the first two games of the series, although Andrew Heaney is expected to come off the disabled list to start one of the games. …

Jaime Barría, the 21-year-old prospect the Angels recalled to make his major league debut on Wednesday, said he was “surprised” to get the call this early in the season: “I knew at some point I’d get the opportunity, but not this soon.” Barría, who is one of the few major leaguers from Panama, said he would not have any family at the game, but they’d be watching him on TV. …

Wednesday’s game will be broadcast on KCOP because the Ducks’ playoff game is on Fox Sports West.rn


rnAngels (Jaime Barría, major league debut) at Rangers (Matt Moore, 0-2, 11.05), Wednesday, 5 p.m., KCOP, KLAA (830 AM).

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