Shohei Ohtani scratched from mound start vs Tampa Bay

MLB Baseball

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)Shohei Ohtani was scratched from his scheduled start on the mound for the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night, one day after getting hit in the right elbow by a pitch.

Left-hander Jose Quintana will move up from his scheduled Tuesday start to face defending AL champion Tampa Bay in the opener of a four-game series at Angel Stadium. Ohtani still is the Angels’ designated hitter Monday against Rays ace Tyler Glasnow.

The two-way right-hander was hit on his elbow Sunday by a 93 mph fastball from Seattle’s Justus Sheffield in the first inning of Los Angeles’ 2-0 road loss to the Mariners.

”He’s just too sore to throw,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. ”After getting hit in the elbow, I thought it was inappropriate to go out and pitch the very next day. It’s sore, but not so sore that he can’t swing the bat.”

The pitch hit Ohtani on his elbow pad, and he stayed in the game as a baserunner and the Halos’ designated hitter. He even stole second and third right after getting hit by the pitch.

Maddon said the Angels will monitor Ohtani’s soreness before they determine their rotation for the rest of the week, but they won’t have trouble filling the spots. Quintana is pitching on five days’ rest, thanks to the Angels’ six-man rotation.

Ohtani could pitch later in the series against Tampa Bay, or he could take the mound on the weekend against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Maddon said.

Ohtani is 1-0 with a 3.29 ERA in three starts for the Angels, striking out 23 but walking 13. He missed a start in April due to a blister on his finger.

At the plate, Ohtani is batting .263 with eight homers, 20 RBIs and a career-best .606 slugging percentage. He leads the Angels and is tied for second in the AL with those eight homers, while his 20 RBIs are second-most for the Angels behind Jared Walsh’s 21.

In 2018 and again last season, the Angels gave Ohtani a day off to before his mound starts, resting his arm instead of keeping him in the lineup as a designated hitter. Maddon and Ohtani have changed that strategy this season, with Ohtani playing in all of the Angels’ first 26 games and even hitting for himself during two mound starts.

Los Angeles has lost seven of 11 to fall to 13-13 after a solid start to the season.

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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