Ohtani's blister to delay next start on mound

Two-way star still expected to serve as Angels' DH

April 10th, 2021

Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani was scheduled to pitch on either Saturday or Sunday against the Blue Jays but will have his start pushed back due to a blister issue, manager Joe Maddon said after Thursday’s 7-5 win over the Blue Jays in 11 innings.

During Friday’s pregame media conference, Maddon said that Ohtani is doing well.

“[Ohtani’s] fine,” Maddon said. “He’ll be back out there. We just want to make sure that it’s well and it doesn’t continue to pop up. There’s nothing else to report, he’s fine.”

Ohtani played catch on the field at TD Ballpark before Thursday's game but was still feeling a blister on his right middle finger that also gave him issues in an exhibition start against the Dodgers on March 29. Maddon said Ohtani played catch with a band-aid on the blistered finger.

“[The medical staff] will make that determination when we can actually throw without a band-aid, so that we get back to the point where we get game-ready,” Maddon said.

Ohtani said after his last start on Sunday that his blister wasn’t a problem, but left that outing after landing awkwardly at home plate on the White Sox José Abreu. Ohtani, though, fortunately wasn’t injured on that play and left the game because of his pitch count.

The injury also doesn’t affect his hitting and he’s expected to remain in the lineup as designated hitter. He had a three-run double and a towering home run in a 7-1 win over the Blue Jays on Friday.

The Angels will instead start left-hander José Quintana on normal rest on Saturday and right-hander Alex Cobb in the series finale. It’s too early to know whether Ohtani will start in one of the club’s three games in Kansas City early next week or if he’ll have to wait until the Angels return home for a three-game series against the Twins that begins on April 16.

“I’ll know by the beginning of this week whether he can or not,” Maddon said Thursday. “We have him on a program to throw but I’m not sure if he’ll be ready to throw at that level.”