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OC Register: Angels to skip Shohei Ohtani’s next start because of ‘workload management’

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TORONTO — Citing “workload management” for Shohei Ohtani, the Angels announced on Thursday they will not pitch their two-way star Sunday in New York, scratching the much anticipated matchup against Masahiro Tanaka.

The Angels have not said when Ohtani will make his next start. Ohtani will be allowed to continue hitting, which means he could hit against Tanaka on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

General manager Billy Eppler and manager Mike Scioscia said there is nothing wrong with Ohtani, but they are trying to be careful with the volume of work for a 23-year-old rookie who is playing a virtually unprecedented role as a two-way player.

Ohtani played catch Wednesday and Thursday, suggesting he is not injured.

“I have the utmost respect for what pitchers endure,” Eppler said. “They are the the most tired people when the game is over. When you make 90, 95, 100, 105, 110, 115, 120 explosions, that is a lot in my opinion. Then you add on cage work and BP work and games and so on and so forth, there is a lot on this particular individual’s plate. We’re just trying to be mindful of that. We understand where we are in the calendar. Simple as that.”

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Ohtani pitched as much as 160 2/3 innings in Japan, but in 2017 he pitched only 25 1/3 innings, missing much of the season on the mound because of an ankle injury.

So far this season, Ohtani has pitched 40 1/3 innings, which is a pace for about 120 innings. He has a 3.35 ERA, and the Angels have won six of his seven starts.

Eppler wouldn’t go into the specific things they saw in Ohtani or the factors that led them to believe now was the time to give Ohtani a break.

“Yesterday we kind of realized we should probably consider this,” Eppler said.

Eppler did say the move had nothing to do with wanting to keep Ohtani’s bat in the lineup. The Angels have struggled at the plate for much of the season. Ohtani has been one of the team’s most consistent hitters, and each time he pitches, they lose his bat for three days, including the day before and after his start.

Without Ohtani starting this weekend, the Angels will go with Andrew Heaney on Friday and Garrett Richards on Sunday. They have not announced a starter for Saturday, but they could bring Jaime Barría back from Triple-A to pitch that game.

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1 minute ago, Kevinb said:

They are doing this so he doesn’t get the pressure in Yankee stadium. Bullshit on Work load management. Guy pitches every 6 days. 

BS on the pressure.  Dude... you can't be serious. With all he's proven so far - you're going there? 

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2 minutes ago, True Grich said:

BS on the pressure.  Dude... you can't be serious. With all he's proven so far - you're going there? 

Yes I think that the Angels are doing this so he misses the Yankees. I don’t think it’s him doing it but the Angels front office. Guy is unbelievable i don’t get why they’d do this other than that specific reason

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