Ohtani calls exit with right groin tightness 'precautionary'

May 1st, 2022

CHICAGO -- Angels two-way star exited Sunday’s 6-5 win over the White Sox with right groin tightness and was replaced by Jack Mayfield as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning. But Ohtani indicated after the game that it was for precautionary reasons, and he believes he can play again on Monday.

Ohtani, the reigning American League MVP, suffered the injury while running to first as he grounded out into a double play in his previous at-bat in the seventh inning. He was 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI before leaving the game.

"I was taken out of the game by the trainers, and I was completely OK with it,” Ohtani said through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara. “But as of right now, I plan on playing tomorrow."

Angels manager Joe Maddon, however, said the Angels haven’t decided when Ohtani will be back in the lineup or when he’ll make his next start on the mound. He said he’s still waiting to hear more from the training staff heading into Monday’s series finale.

Right-hander Noah Syndergaard is set to start Tuesday’s series opener against the Red Sox after being scratched from his start on Friday due to illness. If Ohtani is cleared to pitch, he could start in Boston on Wednesday or Thursday.

Ohtani has gotten off to a relatively slow start offensively by his standards, hitting .228/.283/.402 with four homers and 12 RBIs in 22 games. He's also 2-2 with a 4.19 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings in four starts on the mound.