ANAHEIM (AP) — Japanese star Shohei Ohtani is out of the starting lineup for the Los Angeles Angels’ game against the New York Yankees. It’s possible he could pinch hit, however.
Ohtani is day to day with a mild left ankle sprain after the two-way sensation got hurt trying to beat out a grounder in the fifth inning of Los Angeles’ 4-3 victory Friday night. He homered against Luis Severino earlier in the game.
“Shohei is a little bit sore. I think it’s something that will be manageable,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “We’ll evaluate it on a daily basis just to see exactly what he can do.”
The 23-year-old Ohtani was set to face countryman Masahiro Tanaka for the first time in the majors. The two played against each other in Japan in 2013 when Ohtani was a teenager. He never had a hit against Tanaka, Saturday’s scheduled starter for the Yankees.
The disappointment of Ohtani’s name not being in the lineup for the star-studded matchup was surely felt all the way to Japan.
“You never like to see anyone, especially players that draw attention to our game in a positive way, you never want to see guys out because of an injury or anything like that,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “With that being said, that swing he threw on us last night was pretty impressive. Hopefully, it’s something that’s not serious. I don’t look at it as I’m bummed or I’m happy. I look at it as we’re trying to beat the Angels tonight.”
Ohtani was previously scheduled to start Tuesday, meaning he would throw a bullpen Sunday. His status to make that start Tuesday against Baltimore is unclear.
“We don’t know yet,” Scioscia said of his start.
Asked if he could go on the disabled list, Scioscia said: “At this point, we haven’t made any determination. At this point, his status is still day-to-day. Right now, we’re not considering the DL.”
But it’s possible he could get an at-bat in a pinch-hit situation. Ohtani was going through treatment on his ankle after Friday’s game and again on Saturday.
“He might be available to pinch hit,” Scioscia said. “We’ll see how he feels going through the steps.”
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