He has now been scratched from that start due to soreness he felt while playing catch on Wednesday.
Joe Maddon has even thought about the idea of shutting Ohtani down for the rest of the season.
"“We’ll just wait and see how he feels,” said Maddon. “Today’s Thursday. So I don’t even know the next day he’s scheduled to play catch. I’ll ask (pitching coach Matt Wise), but if it’s just like, he feels great, adamantly ‘I feel great,’ I see nothing wrong with (him pitching again)… But if there’s any kind of lingering soreness, you may see him not pitch. I just don’t know that answer yet.”"
If Shohei Ohtani is shut down the rest of the year for the LA Angels, it will be a tough ending to a historic season.
Shohei Ohtani is having the best season in MLB history, and if the LA Angels have to shut him down, that title could be in jeopardy. Also, there’s recently been ridiculous talk from some suggesting he doesn’t deserve to win the AL MVP.
I do still think he’d win the MVP if he has to be shut down, as Mike Trout has missed much more time (28 games) and won the award before. Also, it seems as if they will keep letting him DH for the team. Maddon seems to be more optimistic about that possibility:
“I’ve actually broached the subject with him and he felt he’s still good and he still wants to get after it,” said Maddon. “We’ll look at it. If he needs it, he’s gonna get it. Absolutely.”
I actually wouldn’t just assume he’ll have to stop pitching this year. It was just soreness, and this is the first time this has come up. He was scratched for his start on Friday, but that doesn’t mean he can’t come back and pitch even as early as the weekend.
Angels pitching coach Matt Wise said that he’s “not terribly concerned” about this. He expected fatigue to set in like this with a guy who’s done as much as Ohtani.
Ohtani has started 21 ballgames this year, and has been the full-time starting DH regardless of if he’s pitching in the game or not. He’s also played some outfield for the Angels. Nobody else has taken on this kind of workload in over 100 years.
It’s worked out, however, as no other player in the Majors has a higher combined fWAR than him at 7.2.
Ohtani may have to end his season a little bit early on the mound, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that he had one of the two best seasons in baseball history, if not the best.