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OC Register: Angels’ Keynan Middleton believes DL stint will be short


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ANAHEIM — The bad news is Keynan Middleton, who had just emerged as the Angels’ closer, had to go on the disabled list.

The good news is that Middleton thinks it’s not serious.

“Not concerned at all,” he said after being placed on the disabled list Tuesday with elbow inflammation.

Middleton said he began to feel some discomfort last week in Houston, and it got worse after he pitched on Friday night, when he blew his first save opportunity in seven tries.

“I was just sore after that day,” he said. “I went in and talked to the trainers, and I haven’t felt anything since, so hopefully that continues and after my 10 days are up, I’m back with the team.”

Middleton is eligible to be activated on Tuesday, the first day of a two-game series at Colorado.

In the meantime, Manager Mike Scioscia has a few options for the ninth inning. Jim Johnson has pitched well and has the most closing experience. Cam Bedrosian has also bounced back from a rough start to pitch better lately.

Rookie Justin Anderson, who made his major league debut last week, also seems to have quickly ascended the bullpen ladder, having come into high-leverage spots against the Houston Astros and New York Yankees already.

OHTANI UPDATE

Shohei Ohtani returned to the lineup as the designated hitter after missing two games with a mild left ankle sprain, but it remains unclear when he’ll be able to pitch again.

Ohtani played some light catch on Tuesday, but he did not have the bullpen session that he will need before the Angels can put him back into the rotation. Because the left foot is his landing foot, he needs to be able to stress it about 150 times, including warm-up pitches, before he can start.

“We want to give this thing enough time to where when he pitches it won’t be an issue,” Scioscia said. “We’re going to take it day to day on the pitching side.”

Scioscia has said Ohtani will pitch sometime over the weekend in Seattle. They have Garrett Richards and Tyler Skaggs both available to pitch on Friday and Saturday, each on five days rest, so they could wait all the way until Sunday to give Ohtani the maximum time off.

BACK TO JAPAN?

Major league baseball announced it will be sending an All-Star team to Japan for a series of exhibition games in November, as it has done every few years.

Obviously, Ohtani would be a natural candidate to make that trip, but it’s too early to predict which players will go. In many cases, it depends on a player’s workload during the regular season.

Matt Shoemaker, who went on the last tour in 2014, said he enjoyed the experience.

“I wish I could do it every year,” Shoemaker said. “I loved it. It was a blast.”

ALSO

Shoemaker (forearm stiffness) said he’s now throwing at a distance of 150 feet, so he believes a bullpen session “has got to be close.” …

Blake Wood (elbow impingement) said he is still throwing, but he has not yet thrown a bullpen session since he’s been on the DL. Wood said he is pain-free now. …

Eduardo Paredes was recalled to take Middleton’s roster spot. The Angels will need to make another roster move to bring up a starter for Thursday’s game. …

Third baseman Zack Cozart got a routine day off.

UP NEXT

Angels (Andrew Heaney, 0-1, 6.91) vs. Orioles (Dylan Bundy, 1-3, 2.79), Wednesday, 7 p.m., Fox Sports West, KLAA (830 AM)

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