HOUSTON — After acknowledging that some of his issues over the past couple weeks were the result of fatigue, Shohei Ohtani has asked Manager Phil Nevin to skip his next turn in the rotation.
The Angels’ two-way star was scheduled to start on Tuesday against the Texas Rangers. His next start will now be the following week, in one of the games at home against the Cincinnati Reds.
“He knows his body better than anybody,” Nevin said. “I trust him when he talks about it. He’s assured me that there’s no pain. There’s no injury. It’s just he’s got some regular arm fatigue that some go through at times. I trust him when he tells me this and he’ll be ready for his next time out.”
Nevin said Ohtani will continue to DH. He also said he doesn’t think Ohtani’s recent dip at the plate is related to fatigue. Ohtani hasn’t hit a homer since Aug. 3. His double on Saturday was hit at 118.3 mph, the hardest he has hit a ball this season.
“He feels good at the plate, feels healthy swinging the bat,” Nevin said. “He’s just got some normal arm fatigue that happens sometimes.”
Ohtani said he wasn’t satisfied with how he pitched on Wednesday against the San Francisco Giants, even though he did not allow an earned run in six innings.
“I think everyone’s going through the peak of their fatigue right now around this time of the year,” Ohtani said through his interpreter after Wednesday’s game. “I’m not the only one. Going into the off day tomorrow. See how I feel the next day. If I feel like I need a day or two, I’ll talk to him about it.”
His start on Aug. 3 was cut short by cramping, and he also came out of the lineup with cramping issues on July 27 and July 28.
Ohtani has pitched 130-2/3 innings over 22 starts so far this season, with a 3.17 ERA. Even skipping his next start, he could still take the ball seven more times, which would surpass last year’s total of 28 starts. He is also likely to pitch more than the 166 innings he worked in 2022.
“If you told me he’d miss one start all year at the beginning of the year, I’ll take that,” Nevin said, “because I know that means he’s healthy all season long.”
Patrick Sandoval will start on Monday in Texas, with Lucas Giolito starting on Tuesday. The Angels have not decided who will pitch on Wednesday. It could be Griffin Canning, who was just activated from the injured list on Sunday. Canning was listed in the bullpen for Sunday’s game, because the Angels needed a reliever who could provide multiple innings of coverage.
ANOTHER TURN FOR DETMERS?
Nevin said the Angels haven’t decided for certain if struggling left-hander Reid Detmers will start in the coming turn through the rotation, but he hasn’t ruled it out.
In fact, Nevin said they could bring Detmers back on Wednesday, which would be four days rest instead of the five that the Angels prefer for their starters. Detmers threw 48 pitches on Friday night, getting knocked out in the third inning with seven runs allowed.
Detmers has a 10.30 ERA in his last six starts.
“I know the struggles and what he’s been through,” Nevin said. “But this guy is very valuable for our organization. This is a growing pain for him. He’s got to go through it. I have been on record saying this point in the year we can’t afford to let guys play through some struggles. But with Reid, I just think that there’s things that need to be fixed. There’s things that he’s gonna get better at. And I anticipate that coming soon. Maybe it’s getting out there quicker than he normally is because of the low pitch count the other day.”
Left-hander Kenny Rosenberg was optioned to create a spot for Canning. Rosenberg pitched five innings of relief on Friday, so he would not have been able to pitch again for a few days. …
First baseman C.J. Cron was out of the lineup because of stiffness in his lower back. Cron said he’s been dealing with it all season. He said he’s hoping he can be back in the lineup on Monday.
Angels (LHP Patrick Sandoval, 6-8, 3.86) vs. Rangers (RHP Max Scherzer, 11-4, 3.88), Monday, 5:05 p.m., Globe Life Field, Bally Sports West, 830 AM.