Ohtani could be sidelined for season as pitcher

MLB

CHICAGO — Two-way star Shohei Ohtani won’t pitch Friday for the Los Angeles Angels because of a sore right arm that could sideline him as a pitcher for the rest of the season.

“If there’s any kind of lingering soreness, you may not see him pitch,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said before Thursday’s game against the Chicago White Sox.

Ohtani (9-2, 3.36 ERA) felt soreness while playing catch Wednesday. Maddon said he raised the possibility of the likely AL MVP being shut down on the mound for the rest of the season during a meeting.

Maddon said there are currently no plans for Ohtani to be examined by a doctor, nor has it been determined when he would try to resume playing catch.

Ohtani, 27, hasn’t pitched since Sept. 10, when he was tagged for six runs on nine hits in 3⅓ innings in a loss at Houston.

Maddon said Ohtani would like to continue pitching in an attempt to get his 10th victory.

“[Ten wins] always looks better than nine,” Maddon said. “But you can’t let that be the driving factor.”

The arm discomfort won’t prevent Ohtani from continuing to serve as a designated hitter. Ohtani entered Thursday’s game against the White Sox ranked second in the major leagues with 44 home runs and 74 extra-base hits and fourth with a .599 slugging percentage.

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