ANAHEIM -- The Angels' stretched bullpen took another hit Tuesday after closer Keynan Middleton landed on the 10-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation, retroactive to Sunday. Eduardo Paredes was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake to take Middleton's spot on the roster.
Middleton said he began to feel discomfort in the elbow a few days before his last relief outing, against the Yankees on Sunday, when he blew his first save of the year.
"The next day, it was just a little bit tighter than usual," Middleton said. "Just thought I'd talk to the training staff and see where we'd go from there. Me going to them was just because I'd never had something like this before in the elbow. I just talked to them, and this is what they decided to do. I feel great right now, so I'm just going to do what they say and take it slow."
Middleton did not undergo an MRI exam, and manager Mike Scioscia said "everything structurally is sound."
"We don't feel it's anything that will have a long-range impact," Scioscia said. "We feel he'll be ready when his DL time is up. It's just a little cranky, and we want to calm it down and make sure all the inflammation is gone. He'll be ready to go."
Middleton, 24, logged a. 2.40 ERA with 15 strikeouts and seven walks over 15 innings this season and leads the team with six saves. The Angels' bullpen, which has pitched an MLB-high 124 innings this season, will now have to operate without two of its steadier back-end arms, as Blake Wood has been sidelined since April 23 with a right elbow impingement.
Middleton's injury could open the door for Justin Anderson or Cam Bedrosian to handle save opportunities in the interim. Anderson, who made his MLB debut a week ago in Houston, has already been deployed in key spots late in games and has struck out six over 4 1/3 scoreless innings in four relief appearances. Bedrosian had an uneven start to the season but has logged six straight scoreless appearances to lower his ERA to 3.29.
"If one of them happens to get the last three outs that maybe Keynan had gotten last week, so be it," Scioscia said. "All these guys are ready to pitch in the back end of games. When Keynan comes back, he'll give us a lot of depth that's going to be important to us."
The Ohtani brief
Shohei Ohtani returned to the Angels' lineup on Tuesday for the first time since spraining his left ankle on Friday and went 1-for-4 with a double in a 3-2 win vs. the Orioles. Ohtani had been scheduled to pitch Tuesday, but the Angels decided to push back his outing to give the ankle on his landing foot more time to recover. The Angels have not yet announced when Ohtani's next outing will be, though they are targeting this weekend in Seattle.
"We'll see when he's ready to throw a bullpen," Scioscia said. "Obviously he's not going to pitch tonight. We'll just evaluate him as it goes on. He can swing the bat. He can run. We'll let this thing get enough time to where when he pitches it won't be an issue. We're going to take it day to day on the pitching side."
Ohtani, who has not pitched since April 24, said he is eager to return to the mound.
"It's been a while since my last start, so I'm a little anxious," Ohtani said through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara. "But I just have to concentrate. This is going to be my next big test."
MLB announced Tuesday that it will be returning to Japan for the 2018 All-Star Tour this fall. Ohtani played in the last tour in 2014 as a member of the Nippon-Ham Fighters, but he said it's too early to predict whether he'll be able to participate again in November.
"Back in 2014, that was a really great experience for me," Ohtani said. "But right now it's too early in the season, and I can't really say at this point. I just need to take it day by day and try to get better every day. Hopefully I'll be chosen."
Matthew Shoemaker, who represented the Angels in the 2014 All-Star Tour, also spoke highly of his experience in Japan.
"I told everybody I wish I could do it every time," Shoemaker said. "I loved it."
• Shoemaker (right forearm strain) has reached 150 feet in his throwing progression and is hopeful that he'll be cleared to throw off the mound soon.
• Zack Cozart received a day off on Tuesday, though Scioscia said he should return to action on Wednesday.