Angels reverse course, tab Ohtani to start Sunday vs. A's
Shohei Ohtani will throw another pitch in 2021, after all.
Skipper Joe Maddon initially said the club would skip Ohtani's turn in the rotation this weekend due to arm soreness with hopes that he'd be able to pitch again at some point during the season's final weeks.
The right-hander had no issues with his arm after throwing a 32-pitch bullpen session on Friday and was ultimately penciled in for Sunday's start.
Ohtani, the likely favorite to win AL MVP, is winding down an unprecedented campaign with success on both sides of the ball. He was batting .256/.359/.598 with 44 home runs and 23 stolen bases entering Friday, posting a 3.36 ERA with 136 strikeouts in 115 1/3 innings of work over 21 starts.
However, the 27-year-old's production has slowed after a stunning first half. Since the beginning of August, Ohtani's hitting just .199 with a 92 wRC+ in 165 plate appearances while authoring a 4.08 ERA in six starts.