Shohei Ohtani pitches in Angels’ intrasquad game, looks rusty

first_imgOhtani was limited to designated hitter duties in 2019 after he returned from Tommy John surgery in May. For Ohtani the pitcher, Tuesday’s atmosphere was his most game-like since the Sept. 2018 start that put half of his unparalleled two-way career on hold.Ohtani began facing live hitters in May. Angels manager Joe Maddon cautioned against expecting any pitcher to replicate his typical mid-season form in a practice environment. Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone For example, Ohtani was allowed to continue pitching to Anthony Rendon after hitting him in the backside with a pitch in the third inning. A portable screen behind catcher Jason Castro prevented runners from advancing on what might normally be wild pitches. When Ohtani reached his pitch limit for the first inning in the middle of an Albert Pujols plate appearance, the inning simply ended.“I’m glad to get through my pitches that I was supposed to pitch without any physical problems,” he said through an interpreter. “I’m very satisfied.”Ohtani said he threw all his pitches, among approximately 50 in all. Now he’ll take “three or four more days to recover” before getting back on a mound.Related Articles Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros center_img “There’s nothing to be concerned about, or alarmed” with Ohtani, Maddon said. “He just did not have good rhythm with his delivery.”Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.TESTING CONCERNSMonday, the firm contracted to Major League Baseball for coronavirus testing didn’t arrive to collect the necessary samples from Angels employees, and a team-wide morning workout became an optional afternoon workout.Getting tested wasn’t an issue for the Angels on Tuesday. For at least one player, however, Monday’s no-show raised major concerns.“Someone has dropped the ball somewhere in Major League Baseball’s office and it’s putting our best players at risk,” pitcher Ryan Buchter told MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM. “It’s putting all of us at risk.”The Angels aren’t alone in grappling with testing issues. Tuesday, the San Francisco Giants announced they were canceling their workouts because they had not received the result of tests administered Saturday. The Nationals cancelled their workout Monday because they still had not received the results from Friday’s tests.“Our staff here with Anaheim is doing a tremendous job,” Buchter said. “Our trainers are, I’m sure, overworked and just getting the crap beat out of them. Our front office is putting out a good message and they’re trying to keep everybody upbeat. The coaches are taking every measure possible, you know, walking around with constant gloves on masks. Really covering themselves carrying sanitizer. Everybody seems to be doing their part. And then we come to where MLB has really dropped the ball in the testing process.”ABSENT ANGELSAdd pitchers Jose Suarez and Patrick Sandoval, and two-way player Jared Walsh, to the list of Angels who are not participating in summer camp activities. Maddon could not say why they are absent.Teams are prohibited from giving information about coronavirus-related absences without the player’s consent. Players also could be missing simply because they haven’t yet received results.Maddon didn’t provide an update about pitcher Julio Teheran, who has been absent from the outset of camp. He was placed on the 10-day injured list Monday along with pitchers Jose Suarez and Dillon Peters, and second baseman Luis Rengifo. None of their injuries were disclosed. The same is true of Matt Thaiss, who wasn’t on the field again Tuesday but has not been placed on the injured list.“I have not heard anything,” Maddon said of Teheran, who was expected to begin the season in the Angels’ rotation. “I have not heard from him specifically and I have not heard from the medical group either. For me, there’s been no contact.”ALSOLeft-hander Andrew Heaney, who is scheduled to start Opening Day in Oakland on July 24, pitched four intrasquad innings. Brian Goodwin hit a ball over the yellow right field stripe for a two-run home run, the only runs on Heaney’s ledger. … Jo Adell, the consensus top prospect in the Angels’ organization, saw time in center field and rapped out what would have been an infield single in his first plate appearance. … Dylan Bundy and Griffin Canning will be the opposing pitchers in a six-inning intrasquad game Wednesday. … Every player present for the Angels’ reserve camp at Long Beach State’s Blair Field was invited to the intrasquad game. … The Angels signed Werner Blakely, their fourth-round pick in the June amateur draft. The high school shortstop from Michigan received a $900,000 signing bonus, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis. All four of their draft picks are now under contract. ANAHEIM – The old normal was the new normal at Angel Stadium for an afternoon.Shohei Ohtani threw three innings in the Angels’ first intrasquad game of summer camp. The stands were empty, save a section in left field full of printed-out fan headshots. The public-address system played music on a continuous loop. The home plate umpire was Tim Buss, the Angels’ quality assurance coach.Only the players and uniforms looked as they normally do, but such is baseball at the moment. For the Angels, seeing Ohtani pitch would have to suffice.Throwing exclusively from the stretch, Ohtani was predictably rusty. He faced 10 batters and walked seven of them. Ohtani agreed his command was off, but it’s hard to measure how much since some normal rules weren’t enforced. Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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