Shohei Ohtani will be in the lineup as the designated hitter Tuesday when the Los Angeles Angels host the New York Yankees in Anaheim, Calif., but he won’t be on the mound as had been scheduled.
Ohtani was hit on his right hand when swinging at a pitch from San Diego’s Ryan Weathers on Saturday. Even though he remained in the game and also played Monday, Ohtani complained of soreness in the hand Monday, forcing manager Joe Maddon’s hand.
“He’s fine, he’s just sore,” Maddon said. “Pitching is problematic, so we’ll just have him hit until he’s ready to pitch. It’s almost like his thumb issue.”
Ohtani recently had a start pushed back after getting hit on his right thumb by a foul ball while in the dugout. Pushing Ohtani back a few days, Maddon said, has its benefits.
“The flip side is that we get him more stretched out; it’ll benefit us next year, too,” Maddon said. “His schedule has been sporadic in a sense, regarding time in between starts. There might not be a reason to push him, but you also don’t want to step away if he’s feeling good.
“Plus, the guy is in the running for some pretty big personal awards right now, and I don’t ever want to get in the way of anybody’s greatness.”
Ohtani, who went 1-for-4 with a homer on Monday, leads the majors with 42 home runs and leads the American League with a .626 slugging percentage. On the mound, he is 8-1 with a 3.00 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 105 innings over 19 outing.
Starting on the mound in Ohtani’s place will be Jaime Barria (2-2, 5.56 ERA), who is coming off a productive albeit short start his last time out. He gave up one run and five hits in 3 1/3 innings Thursday against the Baltimore Orioles.
Barria has faced the Yankees once in his career, getting a victory after allowing four runs and six hits in five innings on May 26, 2018, during his rookie season.
Right-hander Jameson Taillon (8-4, 4.18 ERA) will start for New York. He is unbeaten in his past 15 starts, dating back to a May 31 loss against Tampa Bay.
In those 15 starts, Taillon is 7-0 with a 3.63 ERA and the Yankees have gone 11-4, including wins in each of his past eight appearances. Despite the streak, he did not have a good start his last time out, tossing just 3 2/3 innings and giving up five runs on four hits and three walks.
He left with the Yankees trailing the Oakland A’s, but New York rallied to win the game, its 12th in a row in what turned out to be a 13-game winning streak.
“All that matters right now is winning,” Taillon said. “It doesn’t matter how you get it done. (My teammates) picked me up when I needed them.”
Taillon has made one career start against the Angels, on June 29. He gave up five runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings but got the victory as the Yankees prevailed 11-5.
–Field Level Media