Los Angeles Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani will not start on Friday against the Oakland Athletics as originally scheduled. Rather, Ohtani will have his start skipped after he experienced soreness following a round of catch, according to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. Angels manager Joe Maddon admitted to Fletcher that he's brought up the idea of not using Ohtani as a pitcher for the rest of the season, though it does not appear the Angels are ready to commit to that just yet.
"That'll be something that we'll talk about as he starts to feel better," Maddon said on Thursday. "And then we'll take it from there. I think he's got nine wins. And on a personal level, he probably is thinking about 10. Ten always looks better than nine. But we can't let that be the driving factor."
Maddon said there are no plans for Ohtani to visit a doctor because of his soreness.
Ohtani, 27, is the favorite to win the American League Most Valuable Player Award because of his work as a hitter and as a pitcher. In 564 plate appearances, he's batted .254/.356/.599 (155 OPS+) with 44 home runs and 23 steals (on 32 attempts). Meanwhile, he's amassed a 3.36 ERA (134 ERA+) and a 3.32 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 21 starts. Overall, he's compiled more than seven Wins Above Replacement, per Baseball Reference's calculations.
Maddon and the Angels conceded on Wednesday that outfielders Mike Trout and Jo Adell are both likely to miss the rest of the year. Trout hasn't played since May because of a strained calf. Adell suffered a strained abdominal muscle after colliding with an outfield wall over the weekend.
The Angels entered Thursday with a 71-74 record on the season. They are more than 10 games out of the wild card picture, giving them practically no chance at reaching the playoffs.