The Angels played an intrasquad game at Angel Stadium on Tuesday evening, with Shohei Ohtani back on a major league mound and facing opening day starter Andrew Heaney.
Ohtani last pitched in a major league game on September 2, 2018, his only start in the last 25 months, with Tommy John wiping out the mound portion of his 2019 season. Just the thought of Ohtani back as a true two-way threat again is exciting for the Angels, and pitching three innings Tuesday was a step toward that goal.
Slo-Mo Sho. pic.twitter.com/wuuwMANidQ— MLB (@MLB) July 7, 2020
But with that long layoff came rustiness, according to the Angels coaching staff. Well, that and the seven walks, per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.
“I thought his command was off. He just wasn’t as sharp as he can be,” manager Joe Maddon told reporters on a Zoom call after the game. “There’s nothing to be concerned or alarmed with, but he just didn’t have good rhythm with his delivery.”
Mickey Callaway on Shohei Ohtani: “Obviously not as comfortable as you would hope, but at this point we’re not very concerned. The results will come because of Shohei’s great processes and the way he goes about his everyday work."— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) July 8, 2020
Here’s Ohtani facing Anthony Rendon and Albert Pujols in the intrasquad game.
Ohtani vs. Rendon— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) July 7, 2020
Ohtani vs. Pujols
on NTT #BallparkCam | @Angels pic.twitter.com/QkVDsOqcdF
- Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com has more details on Heaney’s outing in the intrasquad game, which included giving up a two-run homer to Brian Goodwin, and Maddon saying Heaney “had a really good jump on his fastball.”
- After Monday’s testing delays shifted the Angels’ workout to optional, the club had no issues with testing on Tuesday, reports Fletcher.
- Jared Walsh, Jose Suarez, and Patrick Sandoval are among the players who haven’t yet reported to Angels camp, with the team declining to disclose the reason. Maria Torres of the Los Angeles Times has more, including that Suarez, Julio Teheran, Luis Rengifo, and Dillon Peters placed Monday on the 10-day injured list.
- Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic wrote about the “interesting and efficient” workouts at Angels camp.
- Dan Szymborski at FanGraphs lists Justin Upton among his breakdown candidates likely to decline in 2020.