The Los Angeles Angels are a team currently sitting at 31-30 and on the outside looking in when it comes to the postseason. They've been hovering around .500 and after the latest series loss against the Astros, have yet to show a reason why we should believe they're anything more than average.
Normally when teams are average and trying to snap a long postseason drought, they try and be aggressive. The Angels have done this by promoting guys with limited experience in the minors like Zach Neto, Ben Joyce, Sam Bachman, and Jose Soriano.
What teams don't do when they're trying to make a run is give their ace an extra day of rest. That's reportedly what the Angels have decided to do with Shohei Ohtani.
LA Angels giving Shohei Ohtani an extra day of rest doesn't show the needed urgency they should have
Look, I get why the Angels are doing this. Ohtani hasn't been at his best, and has been throwing a ton of innings. He's on pace for around 180-200 innings which is definitely more than the 166 he threw last season which set a career high.
After posting a 0.64 ERA in his first five starts of the season and looking unhittable, Ohtani has a 5.02 ERA in his last seven starts with ten home runs allowed. The Angels need more from Ohtani and while an extra day of rest might get him back on track, I'm just not convinced.
The Angels are already using a six-man rotation with Ohtani involved and now pushing him back makes it a full week in between starts. It also means that Ohtani, who was supposed to start the day before the all-star break with how the Angels had been using him, is now going to be missing a start.
I don't know about you, but I don't want the ace of this staff missing a start when the team needs wins. Yes, even amidst his recent struggles, he's the best arm in this rotation by far. They're 8-4 in his starts, and that includes two losses in games which he allowed no runs and one run respectively.
I also understand that pushing Ohtani back allows Jaime Barria to earn another start, one that he wouldn't have had with the Angels off today. That's all fine and well, but if Barria is who you want starting, there're other pitchers you can skip. The Angels could've skipped over Tyler Anderson or Reid Detmers and used Barria this time around.
If Ohtani wasn't going to miss a start out of this I would've been fine, but the Angels need every win they can get and I don't feel more comfortable with another starter than I do with Ohtani on the bump. Even when he's not at his best, he can still give you six innings and a shot. In the three starts which he's allowed five runs this season, he's gone at least six in all three.
In fact, he's gone at least six in all but two starts this season. One of them he was forced to exit because of a lengthy rain delay and came back on three days rest, and the other one he struck out 13 and the team won.
If Shohei looks like the Shohei we saw earlier this season, I will be wrong. Nothing from what I've seen from Ohtani suggests that he's even fatigued. He's simply missing spots and getting beaten by the long ball. Hopefully I'm wrong and the Angels are fine, but the process behind this is one I do not understand.