Shohei Ohtani takes pitch off elbow, might not pitch on Monday

Shohei Ohtani’s scheduled start against the Rays on Monday is now up in the air after he was hit on the right elbow by a pitch during his first plate appearance in Sunday’s 2-0 Angels loss to the Mariners. Ohtani stayed in the lineup for the rest of the game, and in fact stole two bases after being plunked. Angels manager Joe Maddon told reporters (including’s Rhett Bollinger) that Ohtani “was sore, but he kept telling me he was feeling better game-in-progress.”

All options seem to be on the table for Monday, whether that means Ohtani is scratched from the lineup altogether, or perhaps only pitches or acts only as the designated hitter, or if he feels fine and fills both roles as originally planned. Surely the Halos aren’t going to take any unnecessary risks with such an important player, particularly one enjoying as special of a season as Ohtani’s ongoing campaign. He is hitting .263/.311/.606 with eight homers (and six steals from seven chances, to boot) over 106 plate appearances, while also posting a 3.29 ERA/4.52 SIERA and 37.1% strikeout rate, albeit with a very troubling 21% walk rate.

More from both the Angels and Dodgers….

  • Tony Watson was placed on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to April 29) due to a left calf strain, the Angels announced before Sunday’s game. Right-hander James Hoyt was called up from the alternate training site to take Watson’s roster spot. After opting out of a minor-league deal with the Phillies near the end of spring training, Watson inked a new minors deal with the Angels just before Opening Day, and the veteran has posted some excellent bottom-line results over 8 1/3 innings. Watson has a 1.08 ERA, albeit with the help of a 100% strand rate and an .182 BABIP. While some regression is inevitable, Watson still has a 2.57 SIERA, and he has often outperformed his advanced metrics during his 11-year career.
  • With Dustin May now the latest Dodgers pitcher to hit the injured list, Los Angeles is in the rare position of being somewhat short on pitching depth. Manager Dave Roberts told reporters (including Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register) that the Dodgers are considering a four-man rotation, since a fifth starter won’t be required until May 18 thanks to three upcoming off days on the schedule. Tony Gonsolin is currently being stretched out to work as a starting pitcher when he returns from his own IL stint due to shoulder inflammation, and Roberts said Gonsolin is roughly three to four weeks away from being activated.
  • David Price hit the IL with a right hamstring strain on April 26, and Roberts estimated that the southpaw could beat (or at least be on the low end of) his projected four- to six-week recovery timeline. Since Gonsolin is the pick as May’s replacement, Price will resume his previous bullpen role when he returns to action. Roberts also noted that Josiah Gray, the Dodgers’ top pitching prospect, isn’t currently a candidate for a promotion to fill the rotation job.
  • Brandon Morrow stopped his throwing program due to arm problems, Roberts said, and the veteran right-hander’s comeback attempt looks uncertain. “B-Mo just hasn’t responded to treatment,” Roberts said. “It’s been a tough road for B-Mo and his family, so I don’t know if it’s even gonna be a play this year. Obviously, I’m hopeful.” Morrow signed a minors deal with the Dodgers in December, hoping to return to the majors for the first time since back and elbow injuries halted his career in 2018.

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