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Ohtani will start on mound this weekend

Two-way star's outing pushed back due to ankle sprain
MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- Though Shohei Ohtani said his left ankle was improving, the Angels' two-way star's next scheduled start on the mound has been pushed from Tuesday vs. the Orioles to this weekend's series against the Mariners, manager Mike Scioscia said after Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Yankees.

"Just to make sure this is behind him and he gets the proper workout to test it more instead of rushing in and trying to see where he is on Wednesday," Scioscia said. "So it's the best course of action for Shohei and for us."

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ANAHEIM -- Though Shohei Ohtani said his left ankle was improving, the Angels' two-way star's next scheduled start on the mound has been pushed from Tuesday vs. the Orioles to this weekend's series against the Mariners, manager Mike Scioscia said after Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Yankees.

"Just to make sure this is behind him and he gets the proper workout to test it more instead of rushing in and trying to see where he is on Wednesday," Scioscia said. "So it's the best course of action for Shohei and for us."

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Scioscia said Ohtani will be available to DH during the Orioles series. He did not say which game Ohtani would start in the Mariners series, which begins Friday and wraps up Sunday.

"He's just not right now ready to go out there and run full speed like you would like to see," Scioscia said.

Ohtani belted his fourth home run of the season off Yankees right-hander Luis Severino on Friday before he was forced to depart with the ankle injury. The 23-year-old tweaked his ankle after landing on the bag awkwardly while attempting to beat out a broken-bat grounder in the fifth inning.

His speed coming into the bag -- 29.4 ft/sec, just over 20 mph -- was likely a key contributor to his injury. With that blitzing speed, he was unable to react properly to first baseman Neil Walker, who leaned slightly into the baseline to nab the throw from Ohtani's groundout to second.

Ohtani put his hand up as if to apologize for creating contact, but, in fact, it was Walker's foot that was square in the middle of first base, forcing Ohtani to shift to his right and scrape the edge of the bag with his left foot, rolling his ankle.

"You're just trying to find any piece of the bag when you're getting to the bag late like that," Walker told MLB.com on Friday. "Unfortunately, part of my body was out over the top of the bag."

Ohtani limped off the field and was later replaced by pinch-hitter Luis Valbuena.

In his place on Tuesday, Nick Tropeano will toe the rubber for his fourth start of the season. Tropeano made his last start on Wednesday against the Astros, allowing four runs, three walks and four hits with six strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings in a losing effort. It will be his second career start against the Orioles -- his first was on July 9, 2016, at Camden Yards, when he gave up one run, one walk and five hits with eight strikeouts over six innings. Tropeano is 1-2 with a 4.67 ERA this season.

Worth noting
Andrelton Simmons was back in the lineup on Sunday, but at DH. Zack Cozart took his spot at shortstop for the second straight game. Simmons is still feeling the ancillary effects of a hit by pitch suffered against Johnny Cueto on April 22. Scioscia expects him to start at shortstop on Tuesday.

"He's feeling much better today," Scioscia said. "We anticipate that he'll be available to play shortstop on Tuesday."

Avery Yang is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim.

Los Angeles Angels, Shohei Ohtani