The Los Angeles Angels officially will finish the season without Shohei Ohtani.
The two-way superstar, who is headed to free agency, was placed on the injured list Saturday during a weekend series against Detroit. The three-game set in Anaheim, Calif., will end Sunday with the Tigers looking for a sweep.
Ohtani tore an elbow ligament in his pitching arm last month, limiting him to designated hitter duties. He then suffered an oblique injury during batting practice on Sept. 4, causing him to miss 11 games before being placed on the IL.
“We kind of had a feeling that something was coming,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “He fought it. He tried. He’s upset by it. But it just got to a point, an understanding that he just wasn’t going to be able to go again this year.”
Ohtani will undergo elbow surgery and return to the club to root on his teammates before the end of the season.
“He likes being here,” Nevin said. “He likes being around his teammates. I think it’s a place to be himself, and it will be nice to have him around the last week and around the guys. We have a lot of young players that can learn a lot.”
The Angels miss his bat dearly. They’ve lost four straight games, including 5-4 in 10 innings to Detroit on Saturday.
Reid Detmers (3-10, 4.77 ERA) will start the series finale for the Angels. In his most recent outing, he gave up three runs and five hits while striking out seven and walking none in seven innings against Seattle on Monday.
He settled in after allowing three first-inning runs, giving up just two hits in his last six innings.
“I kind of knew their game plan coming in was looking for (fastballs) and sliders, so throwing in the changeup and working the fastball away was going to help a lot,” Detmers said. “That’s kind of what I stuck to after the first inning. Throwing more changeups, more curveballs, more fastballs just to kind of get them off their game plan.”
In his only outing against the Tigers, Detmers gave up four runs and 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings last season.
The Tigers announced right-hander Miguel Diaz (0-0, 0.00 ERA in six appearances) as their starter for Sunday in a bullpen game. Joey Wentz also is expected to pitch in the series finale.
Wentz (2-11, 6.65 ERA) most recently pitched 2 2/3 innings against Cincinnati on Tuesday. He allowed five runs (two earned) on six hits and three walks. In his last five appearances spanning 17 innings, he’s given up 18 runs (15 earned).
“I don’t think it’s a confidence thing, I think it’s execution,” Wentz said. “You’ve got to throw quality (pitches), and I’m not really doing that. It’s not confidence as much as just making pitches. It’s been really difficult. I haven’t really done it all year. You just put one foot in front of the other and keep trying to get better.”
Wentz has pitched 93 1/3 innings this season. Last year, he threw 32 2/3 and had a 3.03 ERA.
“A calendar year ago, he was incredible in September,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “He’s lost a little bit of that mojo. I think he’s having a hard time recapturing that confidence during this grind.”
Wentz has never faced the Angels.
–Field Level Media
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