1620071824 Angels Shohei Ohtani wont start vs Rays after hit by

Angels’ Shohei Ohtani won’t start vs. Rays after hit by pitch

Angels right-hander Shohei Ohtani was scratched from Monday night’s scheduled start against the Tampa Bay Rays because of a sore right elbow after being hit by a pitch in Sunday’s game in Seattle.

Left-hander Jose Quintana will start the opener of a four-game series against the Rays in Angel Stadium, but the team had not announced as of mid-day Monday whether Ohtani would serve as designated hitter.

Ohtani was struck in the right elbow pad by a 93.4-mph fastball from Mariners starter Justis Sheffield in the first inning of Sunday’s 2-0 loss, but the two-way star remained in the game, taking three more at-bats and finishing the day with two stolen bases.

“He’s sore,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said after the game.

Maddon said Ohtani told him he felt like he’d been struck on the funny bone and that Ohtani said the elbow was “feeling better” as the game progressed.

But the Angels are not about to risk sending the hard-throwing Ohtani to the mound with a sore elbow after he was unable to pitch for most of 2018, all of 2019 and most of 2020 because of an elbow ligament tear that led to Tommy John surgery after the 2018 season.

Ohtani has battled command problems in his three starts this season, going 1-0 with a 3.29 ERA, 23 strikeouts and 13 walks in 13 2/3 innings. He has been a force at the plate, batting .263 with a .917 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, eight homers and 20 RBIs.

Quintana, who signed a one-year, $8-million deal with the Angels last winter, is 0-2 with a 10.13 ERA in his first four starts, striking out 19 and walking 13 in 13 1/3 innings.

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