Ohtani likely to rejoin Angels’ rotation next week

Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani reacts after he struck out looking during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto on Wednesday, May 23, 2018. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

NEW YORK (AP) Shohei Ohtani likely will rejoin the Los Angeles Angel’s rotation next week.

The 23-year-old rookie, the first two-way player in the major leagues in decades, was on track to start Sunday at Yankee Stadium against countryman Masahiro Tanaka, but the Angels said Thursday that Ohtani will miss the turn as part of workload management.

”We will wait and see as we get direction from our medical staff and Billy Eppler on when Shohei will be folded back into the rotation,” manager Mike Scioscia said Friday, referring to general manager Billy Eppler. ”Then he’ll throw a light bullpen, then he’ll throw a heavier bullpen and then we’ll get an idea of when he’s ready. But I’m sure it’s going to be this next week sometime.”

Ohtani last pitched Sunday against Tampa Bay, winning his second straight decision and giving up two runs and six hits in a season-high 7 2/3 innings. His 110 pitches were also a season high.

Ohtani is 4-1 with a 3.35 ERA in seven starts and is batting .309 with six homers and 19 RBIs in 28 games as a designated hitter. He was 0 for 3 with a walk in Friday’s 2-1 loss, hitting an inning-ending groundout against Aroldis Chapman with the potential tying run on second base in the eighth.

He had wanted to be on the mound Sunday.

”Personally, I was looking forward to it, not just pitching against Tanaka but pitching in Yankee Stadium,” Ohtani said through a translator. ”But it is what it is.”

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