On Saturday night's LA Angels game against the New York Mets, Shohei Ohtani got blocked by Mets Catcher Tomas Nido in the third inning after an ill-advised sending of ShoTime to home during the Halos' 11-6 rout of New York:
Obviously, the blocking of the plate led to a tough collision there for Ohtani, and was lucky to not cause an injury. But when Ohtani did not appear in the game the next day, it begged the question of if he had to sit due to that collision.
The reality, however, is that Phil Nevin made it clear after the game that Ohtani was just fine after that collision. In fact, ShoTime stayed in the game for the final six innings. He certainly didn't look injured in those last six innings. Ohtani hit a two-run home run in his very next at-bat, and walked and scored in the eighth inning.
Shohei Ohtani simply took a much-needed off day from what's been a very high-demanding season with the Angels.
Entering Sunday's game, Shohei Ohtani led the American League in games played with 60. He had played in 60 of the Halos' 61 games. That meant that he was on pace to play 159 games, and with his 10 starts on the mound; he was also on pace for 27 starts on the bump.
To put it in perspective, he played 155 games offensively last year and started 23 games on the rubber in addition to that. So, he's been utilized even more this season than he was last year. And last year, he experienced fatigue at the end of the season.
That doesn't necessarily mean that he has to play under 155 games in the box and under 23 games on the hill in 2022, as he no longer also has to play in the outfield like he did last year due to the newly-implemented 'Ohtani rule.' Still, though, Ohtani can't be going much more than 155 games played this season.
Look at where he's at compared to the rest of the A.L. He STILL leads the American League in games played despite missing Sunday's game. He's getting plenty of work, and is still playing more offensively than his American League counterparts despite also being a full-time Ace.
There's nothing to worry about from this slide and collision. If there's anything to fester about, it's that he was sent in the first place. Even with Ohtani's speed, that was a terrible decision for him to be sent home.
Obviously, that's not on Ohtani but the third base coach. Perhaps this would have never happened if Joe Maddon was still the Manager; therefore keeping Nevin at third base. Now with Nevin as the manager, the team needs more than what they got on Saturday from the third base coach spot.