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OC Register: It’s official: Shohei Ohtani won’t pitch again for the Angels this season, but he can still hit


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Joe Maddon officially declared what the calendar had made likely a day earlier about Shohei Ohtani.

“I’m not anticipating him pitching at all this year,” the Angels manager said Tuesday afternoon, officially putting an end to Ohtani as a two-way player in 2020.

Ohtani will still be able to serve as a nearly full-time DH, although Maddon didn’t put him in the lineup on Tuesday because he said he’s still “a little bit sore.”

Ohtani was diagnosed on Monday with a grade 1-2 strain of the flexor pronator mass. The general timetable for that injury is at least four weeks before a throwing program can be started.

Considering he’d need time to work from throwing to pitching in a game, and there are now only eight weeks left in the regular season, it was almost certain Monday that Ohtani had thrown his final pitch of the year.

However, Maddon stopped short Tuesday of saying that Ohtani’s days as two-way player were over.

“From what I’ve seen, I believe that he can (be a two-way player),” Maddon said. “We just got to get past the arm maladies and figure that out.”

Maddon said he looked forward to getting Ohtani, the pitcher, a fresh start in 2021, with a normal spring training.  At that point, they would be better able to assess whether his career as a two-way player is viable.

“He’s such a high-end arm and of course what he can do in the batter’s box,” Maddon said. “It might get to the point where he may chose to want to do one thing over the other and just express that to us.”

Ohtani’s 2020 season as a pitcher ended quickly, after just 1 2/3 innings. In his debut, he couldn’t get an out among the six batters he faced. In his second start, on Sunday, he pitched a perfect first, but then fell apart in the second. He walked five and threw 42 pitches in the inning, recording just two outs. Ohtani’s velocity dipped during the inning, which Maddon said he thought was just fatigue. Ohtani later complained of arm discomfort, and tests revealed the injury.

NEW DAD THOUGHTS

Mike Trout rejoined the Angels after missing four games for the birth of his son. He called the experience “incredible” and “pretty amazing” and said it was difficult to leave his wife, Jess, and the baby, Beckham, back home when he flew to Seattle.

“I FaceTimed the wife probably 30 times already today,” Trout said. “She probably thinks I’m crazy.”

Trout’s return also alleviated the fears of some who suspected he might simply opt-out, particularly given the difficulties Major League Baseball has had controlling the coronavirus. The Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals have each missed a week or more of games because of team outbreaks. Trout had expressed concern about COVID-19 since before the start of summer camp.

“A lot of things flying through my head, obviously Jess was worried,” Trout said. “What I’ve been doing, this team the Angels, we’ve been safe. I feel safe here. Everybody’s being accountable, staying in the hotel room, doing the right things and making the right choices. Until something happens, I feel like it’s been good so far. It’s definitely scary for baseball.”

ALSO

The Angels placed Cam Bedrosian on the injured list with a right adductor strain. Bedrosian had been one of the few consistently effective relievers in the first 10 games, allowing one run in his first 4 1/3 innings. Kyle Keller was recalled from the alternate site in Long Beach to take Bedrosian’s spot…

In order to create spots for Jo Adell and Mike Trout, the Angels optioned Michael Hermosillo and Jared Walsh to Long Beach.

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