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Angels’ Shohei Ohtani homers in first game after injury diagnosis

first_img“I don’t think so,” Maddon said Thursday. “The trainers didn’t express anything more than that, so as of right now I’m not concerned.”Adell’s first day on the big league bench came a day after he had trouble on two balls in right field, demonstrating the defensive issues that were largely the reason he wasn’t on the Opening Day roster.Maddon said he’s been personally working with Adell on his defense in their brief time together, and he feels the issues can be corrected.“After a couple games, there’s nothing to conclude,” Maddon said. “He’s going to be really good. I like the running, like the hustle. He’s been challenged on some difficult plays. We’ll work through that.”MARSH AT 1BThe Angels are experimenting with outfield prospect Brandon Marsh at first base at their alternate training site in Long Beach. Marsh, 22, is an elite defender in the outfield, but the Angels are taking the opportunity to see what else he may be able to do.“We value flexibility with all our players,” General Manager Billy Eppler said via text, adding that they are giving Marsh “a little introduction there (to) see how he develops.”The Angels obviously have Mike Trout in center and they just moved Adell to the big leagues, and hope for him to hold down right field for years. Although left fielder Justin Upton has been in a slump lately, he’s signed for two seasons after this one. Brian Goodwin also remains under control for two more years.Max Stassi #33 of the Los Angeles Angels fist bumps Tommy La Stella #9 after hitting a two-run home run during the eighth inning against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on August 6, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)ALSOMax Stassi hit a two-run homer and a sacrifice fly on Thursday, the latter was a deep drive that Maddon said he thought was going to be a grand slam. Maddon has been impressed with Stassi’s swing, which he reworked entirely after hitting .167 last season. He hit just .071 in the final two months after the Angels acquired him…The Angels optioned reliever Jose Rodriguez and infielder Matt Thaiss because rosters were all reduced from 30 to 28. They’ll remain at that level for the rest of the way. …Without Thaiss, the Angels’ only backups to Albert Pujols at first are Tommy La Stella, who started there on Thursday, and Taylor Ward. Neither player has much experience at first. …The Angels have listed Griffin Canning and Andrew Heaney as the starters for Friday and Sunday in Texas, respectively. Saturday’s starter is TBA, but Maddon conceded that Patrick Sandoval is a candidate. He also said that he now prefers the bullpen for both Matt Andriese and Felix Peña, who have started in the past. “I think they’re very valuable there,” Maddon said. All of that seems to indicate that for now the Angels will go with a five-man rotation with Canning, Heaney, Sandoval, Dylan Bundy and Julio Teheran.Related Articles With photos of fans filling the seats at Safeco Field, Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani flies out to center field to end the top the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)“I saw the best swing out of him that I’ve seen in person,” Manager Joe Maddon said of Ohtani. “He’s on the verge right now. I like a lot what I saw today. And I’m curious, if we could just keep this path going right now. He was very focused, very convicted in everything he was doing. And that was the most forceful swing I’ve seen him take for a year.”Before the game, Maddon said he didn’t think that Ohtani’s arm injury would have any impact on his availability as the DH. Although he didn’t hit on Tuesday because he was a “little sore” and on Wednesday he got an extra day because they faced tough lefty Marco Gonzales, Maddon said he expects Ohtani to be the DH “pretty much every day.”Maddon also said that he’s not concerned that Ohtani’s latest injury is a sign that he will continue to have injury troubles throughout his career. Ohtani has now had two arm injuries since joining the Angels. He also had knee surgery to repair a congenital condition. Ohtani was also hurt in 2017, his final year in Japan.“It’s just one of those things that’s hard to understand,” Maddon said. “I’ve been around players in the past so as they were younger they get injured and then all of a sudden, they get beyond that moment and everything’s fine and they play consistently without injury. I’m wanting to believe that it’s gonna happen.”ADELL SITSJo Adell was out of the Angels lineup on his third day in the big leagues because of some quad tightness, although Maddon gave no indication it will be more than a one-day issue. Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield This is apparently something that Shohei Ohtani does.Ohtani hit a homer in his first at-bat on Thursday, which was his first game since learning on Monday that a forearm injury would prevent him from pitching again this season.In September 2018, Ohtani hit two homers in his first game after learning that he needed Tommy John surgery.Obviously the Angels and Ohtani are disappointed that the two-way player will now just be a hitter, but there is hope that he can be an exceptional one-way player. 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