LEADING OFF: Ohtani nears Angels return, biding Bumgarner
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
OHTANI ON DECK
AL Rookie of the Year Shohei Ohtani will join the Angels in Detroit this week and could be set to make his season debut. The two-way star has been recovering from Tommy John surgery and isn’t expected to pitch this year. But his swing is fine and Los Angeles intends to use Ohtani as its designated hitter.
The Angels say Ohtani will wear an arm guard when he bats and runs the bases. The 24-year-old hit .285 with 22 home runs last season.
San Francisco lefty Madison Bumgarner (1-4, 3.92 ERA) starts at Coors Field, facing the only team he’s beaten this season. He pitched seven innings at home to top Colorado on April 13.
With each outing for the last-place Giants, speculation increases they might consider trading the 29-year-old Bumgarner. The 2014 World Series MVP has made seven starts this season.
The Marlins went into this week on pace for 118 losses and their worst record ever. Club CEO Derek Jeter says he’s not happy, a sentiment echoed by manager Don Mattingly.
Caleb Smith, however, has been exceptional. The 27-year-old lefty is 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA in six starts, striking out 45 in 36 innings. Smith will try to boost his record when he starts at Wrigley Field against Jon Lester and the Cubs.
Cody Bellinger can expect to see a lot of time in the outfield for the Dodgers after coming back from a dislocated shoulder. He hurt himself diving for a ball at first base, and Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts says it “makes the most sense” to keep Bellinger in the outfield for a while.
Also, newly acquired Travis d’Arnaud will work out at first base and left field. A catcher with the New York Mets, d’Arnaud will practice at other spots to give the Dodgers extra versatility.
The Dodgers could need help in the outfield with A.J. Pollock out for at least six weeks after surgery to clear up an infection in his right elbow.