Ohtani exits after four innings with finger blister

Angels' phenom removed while warming up for fifth vs. Royals

June 7th, 2018

ANAHEIM -- Hours after they saw Gold Glove shortstop land on the disabled list with a right ankle sprain, the Angels were dealt yet another injury, as two-way phenom was forced to depart his start against the Royals after four innings because of another blister on his right middle finger.

The double dose of injury news loomed large for the Angels, even as they used home runs from  and to emerge with a 4-3 win on Wednesday night and complete a three-game sweep at Angel Stadium.

Ohtani exited his start against the Red Sox on April 17 after two innings because of a blister on the same finger, though he recovered in time to take his next turn in the rotation as scheduled. Manager Mike Scioscia said this blister is not as severe as the previous one, though the Angels will have to wait before determining whether the ailment will affect Ohtani's next start, which would be next Wednesday in Seattle if he remains on his once-per-week pitching schedule.

"We'll see," Scioscia said. "We got a lot of options. We got an off-day tomorrow. Another off-day swinging back next week, so there are some things we can look at."

Ohtani was not made available to reporters following the game.

Ohtani came out to start the fifth inning and threw his usual warmup tosses, but catcher noticed he was a bit off and motioned toward the dugout for trainer Eric Munson and Scioscia. After a brief mound conference, Ohtani walked off the field with Munson and headed straight to the clubhouse.

"Normally he throws a lot of curveballs," Maldonado said. "He threw a lot of fastballs when he was warming up, so I thought something was different with him."

Ohtani allowed one run on four hits while walking three and striking out four over four innings. The blister seemed to hamper his command in the fourth, when he yielded an RBI single to and then issued back-to-back walks with two outs before striking out to end the inning with the bases loaded.

"You could see the beginnings of [a blister], and we obviously didn't want him to get past that," Scioscia said.

It marked the second consecutive day in which the Angels were forced to see one of their star players make a premature exit. Simmons slipped on the dugout steps during pregame warmups on Tuesday and departed the Angels' 1-0 win after two innings. He's out for at least 10 days as he recovers from a Grade 2 ankle sprain.

"You never want to see your guys go down," Kinsler said. "That's always the case. You've got to keep playing. The game doesn't stop. The season doesn't stop. We don't get to wait for Simba to come back or for Ohtani's blister to heal or whatever. We've just got to continue to play baseball and continue to play hard and just try to rack up wins."