Angels activate Marte, option Blash to Triple-A

Ohtani out of lineup against left-hander Gonzales

July 6th, 2018
Los Angeles Angels third baseman Jefry Marte fields a Ronny Rodriguez hit as Detroit Tigers' John Hicks, left, advances to third base in the first inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Thursday, May 31, 2018. Rodriguez was safe for a single on the play. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)Paul Sancya/AP

SEATTLE -- The Angels activated infielder off the disabled list and optioned outfielder to Triple-A Salt Lake on Thursday ahead of their series finale against the Mariners.
Marte, who missed 20 games with a left wrist sprain, started at first base against Seattle left-hander in his first game since June 11. Before the injury, Marte was batting .262 with a .752 OPS and three home runs over 39 games in a part-time role.
With Marte at first base and at designated hitter, the Angels chose to leave left-handed-hitting out of their lineup against Gonzales. Ohtani, who turned 24 on Thursday, has logged a 1.066 OPS against right-handers and a .399 OPS against lefties this season, making it likely that he'll sit against lefties to give the 38-year-old Pujols a chance to occasionally DH rather than start at first base every day.
"We've got Marte back, who we like against left-handed pitchers," manager Mike Scioscia said. "Shohei, he'll definitely get his looks."
Scioscia added that Ohtani would be available to pinch-hit or pinch-run on Thursday.
Blash was called up Wednesday to replace the injured Chris Young on the roster, so his demotion means Marte and David Fletcher will temporarily serve as the Angels' backup outfielders. Marte and Fletcher have some outfield experience, but they're both natural infielders.
<p. angels="" been="" besieged="" by="" have="" injuries="" season="" the="" this=""> "We're excited to get these guys back," Scioscia said.</p.>