In his final outing on the mound of the spring, Shohei Ohtani caused a brief scare when it was revealed following the game he was dealing with a blister problem. Luckily for him and the Angels, it doesn’t appear to be too serious.
“I formed the blister in my last outing,” Ohtani said to reporters following the game. “So I was pitching with a blister from the beginning, but I was focused on getting my pitch count up.”
Ohtani allowed seven runs and walked five on Monday night in his brief 2 1⁄3 innings of work. He’s made four starts through the spring and has allowed 14 runs in only 10 1⁄3 innings of action.
When asked about the blister following the game, Joe Maddon said that he just wanted to be cautious with it and not allow it to get any worse. But just like with Ohtani, the Angels manager expects him to be fine and make his first start of the regular season on Sunday.
Dealing with blisters is never a good sign for a pitcher, but Ohtani is optimistic about it heading into the season.
“I’m not too worried for my next outing,” he said. “I’m actually glad it peeled off today before the games really matter. Physically I feel fine. I was trying to throw around my blister, so I was yanking some pitches.”
Ohtani knows he didn’t have a great outing on Monday, but he doesn’t want to blame that on the blister. His fastball command was definitely off, but he was still able to locate his other pitches, especially his curveball. He had three strikeouts on the night, and does have 17 through the spring.
Both Ohtani and Maddon said the blister won’t affect his swing, and he is expected to be in the lineup for the Angels on Tuesday.
With the season starting on Thursday, it looks like the Angels avoided a potential crisis with Ohtani and this blister. Hopefully it’s something that can be put behind him, as he tries to have a fully healthy season for the Halos.
“I have a whole week ahead of me to try and toughen [my blister] up.”