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Angels manager Joe Maddon comfortable that Shohei Ohtani’s natural ability is enough for cameos in the outfield – Press Enterprise

Anaheim — Shohei Ohtani is back on the mound on Thursday, so he could be back in the outfield.

Coach Joe Maddon said he hadn’t yet decided whether to hit Otani on Thursday in Auckland. The Angels currently have only three positions on the bench, so Otani himself hit and dropped the designated hitter. In that case, a pinch hitter following Otani is required.

One way the Angels can mitigate it is to move the Otani from the mound to the outfield until the next turn at bat.

So far, he has played 5-1 / 3 innings in the outfield in four games. He threw some balls but didn’t catch the fly ball or even had a reasonable chance to catch the fly ball.

Otani played as an outfielder in Japan, mainly early in his career. Madon said Otani is not currently training to prepare for outfield play. It is up to his natural athletic ability.

Madon saw it well last summer.

After Otani was unable to pitch due to an injury to his forearm, he needed something other than batting practice to keep him busy, so he did some training with the outfield on first base.

“He went outfield and ran out of things, but that’s what you imagined,” Madon said. “There’s everything. This guy is also a top outfielder. No doubt.”

Madon said the only instruction given to Otani was to prevent the base from capsizing in the event of a situation. He just wants the cutoff man to put the ball in. Madon isn’t talking about jumping in or hitting a wall.

“I don’t want to have any Teflon on him,” Madon said. “I want him to play. Of course, risk-taking is limited, but the whole game is a risk. Every time he pitches, The line drive could come back in the middle. He’s doing something different suddenly to be cautious, so there are lots of potential risk moments that are hard to justify. ”

Madon says he’s not worried about Otani, but at least that idea crosses the minds of outfielder Justin Upton.

“I’m a little nervous,” Apton said. “Not because he can’t play there. You have to keep the guy on the field. If you’re going to hit him there, hit him with some lazy flyballs. Don’t let him dive. Please don’t let him throw things. ”

Apton added that he was confident that Otani understood what he was doing, including the outfielder’s positioning charts and anti-collision communications.

“I think he’s pretty comfortable there,” Apton said. “I don’t think it’s a big deal if Joe puts him out.”

Max Stassi (concussion) and Chris Rodriguez (shoulder inflammation) both head to Triple A Salt Lake to begin rehab assignments.

Both may return to the Angels sometime next week. Rodriguez will make his first pitch at Salt Lake on Friday.

Stassi will be absent for about a month before returning home after being absent for two weeks due to a thumb problem in April.

Of the many reasons the Angels struggled, Stassi’s absence is probably lost. He has played only 11 games.

“He’s not only a good receiver, he’s also a bat,” Madon said. “We can’t underestimate what he did last year and what he believes he can do again. Suddenly power comes out and the score changes.”

Stassi had a reputation as a defensive catcher, but last year he hit .886 OPS and 7 home runs in 105 at-bats.

Note

José Iglesias, who had a hamstring cramp on Tuesday night, wasn’t on Wednesday’s lineup. He’s every day …

Following Otani, the Angels will start the rest of the series with Alex Cobb, José Quintana and Dylan Bundy in Auckland. That is, Patrick Sandoval twice when Cobb was on the disabled list. After getting off to a good start, you will be back in the bullpen. Both Sandval and Cobb pitched last week because the Angels had a doubleheader.

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Angels (RHP Shohei Ohtani, 1-0, ERA 2.37) A’s (RHP Chris Bassitt, 4-2, 3.69, Thursday, 6:40 pm, Barry Sports West, 830 am)

Angels manager Joe Maddon comfortable that Shohei Ohtani’s natural ability is enough for cameos in the outfield – Press Enterprise Source link Angels manager Joe Maddon comfortable that Shohei Ohtani’s natural ability is enough for cameos in the outfield – Press Enterprise

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