Ohtani to miss next start, Angels hoping he'll pitch again in 2021

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The Los Angeles Angels are skipping Shohei Ohtani's next scheduled start this weekend against the Oakland Athletics due to soreness he felt while playing catch, manager Joe Maddon told Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.

The team could shut Ohtani down for the remainder of the season depending on how he feels over the next few days, Maddon continued, although the club is hopeful he'll pitch again in 2021. Maddon said the Angels may also give Ohtani rest as a hitter.

Ohtani isn't scheduled to see a doctor, and the team believes he's only experiencing end-of-season fatigue, Maddon adds.

The 27-year-old right-hander has enjoyed a phenomenal 2021 campaign on both sides of the ball, authoring a 3.36 ERA and 3.44 FIP over 21 starts while also hitting .254/.356/.599 with 44 homers and 23 stolen bases in 141 games.

Ohtani's otherworldly season has put him at the front of the American League MVP conversation, as he leads the Junior Circuit with 7.3 WAR combined between pitching and hitting, according to FanGraphs.

However, his September struggles are creating some doubt. The All-Star is hitting a pedestrian .158/.273/.316 over 11 games in the final month of the season. In Ohtani's most recent start, he allowed six earned runs over 3 1/3 innings against the Houston Astros.

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Ohtani to miss next start, Angels hoping he'll pitch again in 2021
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