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OC Register: Angels scratch Shohei Ohtani from start against Yankees because of sore wrist


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ANAHEIM — Shohei Ohtani isn’t going to get a chance to make up for the biggest blemish on his season.

Ohtani’s right wrist, which was hit by a pitch on Saturday, was still sore enough on Monday that the Angels scratched him from his scheduled start on Tuesday against the New York Yankees. He was in the lineup to hit on Monday, and Manager Joe Maddon said he would continue to hit, despite the sore wrist.

When Ohtani started against the Yankees on June 30 he was knocked out in the first inning and charged with seven runs. It was the worst start of the season for Ohtani, who has a 3.00 ERA in 105 innings.

Ohtani underwent X-rays immediately after he was hit on Saturday, and he remained in the game.

“He’s fine,” Maddon said. “He’s just sore where it hit him. Pitching is going to be problematic, so we’ll have him hit until he’s ready to pitch.”

Maddon compared the issue to last month, when Ohtani was hit in the right thumb by a foul ball in the Angels’ dugout. Ohtani was hit on July 27 and scratched from a start scheduled for Aug. 1. He ended up pitching on Aug. 4 instead. He never took a break from hitting.

The next possible start for Ohtani would be Friday, because the Angels already scheduled Jaime Barria for Tuesday and Packy Naughton for Thursday. The Angels are off on Thursday.

Maddon said there is not currently a thought that the Angels would simply shut down Ohtani as pitcher, even though he is already at an innings total that he hasn’t reached since 2016 in Japan.

He said if he gets deeper into this season, it would help give him a foundation for next season.

“There’s no reason or want to push him,” Maddon said. “You don’t want to step away from it if he’s feeling good too, and how that’s gonna benefit us. If we do that now, next year is going to be mentally somewhat easier for both of us. There’s that fine line we’re walking with that. I do know he wants to play, wants to pitch. So that’s the commitment we made to him.”

Maddon added that he was also cognizant of Ohtani being in the race for the American League MVP and Cy Young awards.

“I don’t ever want to get in the way of anybody’s greatness,” Maddon said.

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