Nobody likes a blister. They’re annoying and have a tendency to come back in the same spots. Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani is dealing with this issue which will force him to miss his next scheduled start on Sunday against the Blue Jays.
Located on the middle finger of his throwing hand, Ohtani was nagged by the injury in spring training. He started to have issues towards the end of his first start of 2021 against the White Sox.
Angels: Hopefully Shohei Ohtani’s blister is not a recurring issue.
Angels manager Joe Maddon is hoping Ohtani can get back on the mound some time in the next week.
"“Once a pitcher has that, the tendency is that it continues to come back,” Maddon said on Friday. “I don’t know what the treatment is specifically that they have a lot of confidence in, but they do. So we’ll see.”"
Luckily the blister hasn’t forced Ohtani to miss any time as the team’s designated hitter. Ohtani’s been locked in at the plate this season, slashing (.300/.344/.700) with three home runs and eight RBI in 32 plate appearances.
Ohtani tallied a three-run triple and blasted solo-home run (caught by an Angels fan) in a 7-1 blowout win on Friday.
We can expect Maddon to use Ohtani as both the designated hitter and pitcher in many starts this season. During his two-way performance last Sunday, Ohtani allowed one earned run on two hits while striking out seven and walking five through 4.2 innings. Through that start, Ohtani threw the fastest pitch and hit the hardest home run of the season among all MLB players.
Part of Ohtani’s usage this season will be greatly determined by his health. He’s had more serious injuries in the past, but the Angels have emphasized putting ‘no limits’ on his preparations.
Instead, Maddon and his coaching staff will keep a close eye on his progress and evaluate Ohtani as he progresses rather than making pre-determined assumptions. They’ll need to make sure Ohtani isn’t pushing himself too far.
"“I really want to believe that we’re beyond any kind of holding back any information,” Maddon said. “I think he knows that we have his best interest at heart right now.”"
Want your voice heard? Join the Halo Hangout team!
Ohtani played long toss prior to Friday’s game and said he’s feeling better will hopefully be back soon.