ANAHEIM – One of the big questions about Shohei Ohtani’s All-Star Game participation has been answered.
Joe Maddon said he spoke to Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash, who will lead the American League All-Star team, and was told that Cash’s plan is to have Ohtani in the All-Star at some point. Set up game on July 13th, in addition to being the starting DH.
Obviously, both the Angels and Ohtani would have to sign the additional work, and apparently they have officially told Cash and other all-star game makers that they are okay with it.
« It says Shohei, » said Maddon on Monday. “It’s not that we’re trying to push him into anything. He is with us. Just like he wants to play the day before pitching and the day before pitching and the day after. He’s totally lost in it. We’re just trying to figure out how best to do it. «
First of all, the rules would have to be adjusted so that the DH can pitch in the game without the AL team losing the DH position for the rest of the game, as would be the case under normal circumstances.
Obviously, Major League Baseball wants to show off Ohtani as best they can at one of their jewel events, so that shouldn’t be a problem. The game no longer determines home advantage for the World Series, so adjusting the rules shouldn’t matter.
Letting him start the game on the hill and at DH would be the easiest as Ohtani could then do his full pre-game pitching preparation as usual. However, there are other pitchers – such as Gerrit Cole, Kyle Gibson, Lance Lynn or Carlos Rodon – whose pitching numbers are better than Ohtani’s. On that basis, one could argue that each of them deserves the honor of an All-Star Game Launch more.
If it is determined that Ohtani would at some point serve with relief, the question arises how best to prepare himself to hit while hitting. If so, it might make more sense for him to pitch in the late innings so that he can do all of his pitching prep after he is out of the game as a hitter.
« The bottom line is that he’s going to pitch, » said Maddon, « but how it will happen is ongoing. »
Anthony Rendon (strained left Achilles tendon) and Taylor Ward (right index finger pinched) were no longer in the Angels line-up on Monday, one day after their injury.
Maddon said he didn’t think any of the injuries were serious but he waited for more details to know if any of the players should be added to the injured list. Both stayed in the squad a few hours before Monday’s game.
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The Angels had infielder Jack Mayfield in uniform in case a squad change was required.
Justin Upton (back) has swung in the cage but still needs some work in the field before it can be activated, Maddon said. Maddon said he doesn’t think Upton needs a rehab assignment.
Mike Trout (tense calf) was doing punching exercises in the field. Trout’s rehab assignment is expected to take place around the All-Star hiatus, with he returning to the active roster shortly after the hiatus.
Angels (RHP Shohei Ohtani, 3-1, 3.60 ERA) vs. Red Sox (RHP Nate Eovaldi, 9-4, 3.41), Tuesday, 6:38 p.m., Bally Sports West, 830 p.m.
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