Shohei Ohtani is expected to be in the lineup Monday for the Los Angeles Angels when they host the New York Yankees in Anaheim, Calif., despite a scare on Saturday.
Ohtani was hit on the right hand by a pitch from San Diego left-hander Ryan Weathers in the first inning against the Padres. Ohtani was ruled to have swung at the pitch and struck out. He remained in the game and had X-rays during the game, which were negative.
Ohtani not only stayed in the game, but he made history just a short time later in the fifth inning when he stole second base, his 20th of the season. In doing so, he became the first Angel in club history to hit at least 40 homers and steal 20 bases in a season.
The feat had not been accomplished in the American League since Curtis Granderson did it in 2011, and it was the first time an American Leaguer did it before September since Alex Rodriguez in 2007.
“Shohei breaks another record every day,” Angels first baseman Jared Walsh said. “According to our scoreboard, no one’s done anything that he’s done since 1885 or whatever. So every night with Sho, it’s something different.”
Ohtani is scheduled to start on the mound on Tuesday against the Yankees, assuming there are no setbacks with his hand. The Angels have not yet announced a starter for Monday’s game.
Right-hander Corey Kluber (4-3, 3.04 ERA) will be on the mound Monday for the Yankees, making his first start since May 25 because of a strained right shoulder.
“The quality in just watching his pitches, I feel like the crispness of the stuff is there,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “I think the whole time he’s been throwing, he kept throwing very early on (during the rehab process) during the few months he was down. I feel like he’s responded well the whole way, though we were pretty conservative with it early.
“Now it’s just a matter of getting up against major league competition and build that workload back up. Hopefully he can really impact us here down the stretch.”
Kluber is 3-2 with a 3.23 ERA in seven career starts against Los Angeles, including two complete games, one of which was a shutout.
First baseman Anthony Rizzo is expected back in the lineup Monday for the Yankees after sitting Sunday before later entering as a pinch hitter. Rizzo initially started hot with the Yankees after being traded from the Cubs on July 29, hitting a home run in each of his first two games and driving in at least one run in each of his first six.
But since returning to the active roster following a stint on the COVID-19 injured list, he’s struggled, hitting .156 (5-for-32) with eight strikeouts.
“It’s just a grind,” Rizzo said. “The swing comes and goes. Just trying to get it into the right slot and hit good pitches. It’s just part of the process — get back to the routine and stay with the grind.”
–Field Level Media