Mild ankle sprain sidelines Angels' Shohei Ohtani vs. Yankees

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Sunday, April 29, 2018

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Japanese star Shohei Ohtani was out of the starting lineup for the Los Angeles Angels' 11-1 loss against the New York Yankeeson Saturday night. It's possible that he could return to the lineup on Sunday.

Ohtani, who said he was feeling better, is day-to-day with a mild left ankle sprain after the two-way sensation got hurt trying to beat a grounder in the fifth inning of Los Angeles' 4-3 loss on Friday. He homered against Luis Severino earlier in the game.

"I feel I'll be ready to be in the lineup, but once again, it's not up to me,'' Ohtani said through an interpreter.

Ohtani talked with media after the Angels' loss to the Yankees. He plans on throwing a bullpen Sunday and making his previously scheduled start Tuesday, but the Angels say he's still day-to-day.

"I feel like I'll be fine. I can make my next start, but ultimately, the decision is not up to me,'' Ohtani said. "It's the medical staff and the front office and the coaches. I'll just take it day by day."

Ohtani said there was a possibility that he could've pinch hit in Saturday's game against the Yankees. However, the Yankees scored five runs in each of the first two innings in a rout, and therefore, it didn't make sense.

Ohtani might feel that he's ready for his bullpen and to be back in the lineup, but the Angels could exercise caution.

"We're going to evaluate it day to day,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said late Saturday. "In understanding Shohei's history and talking to his manager in Japan and the pitching coach, he's never going to back down. He's always going to want to go out there and pitch and play. So we're going to have to be the ones to make some decisions to make sure he's 100 percent, and that will come from our medical department. We'll go day to day."

Before the game, Scioscia said Ohtani was a little sore, but it would be manageable.

The 23-year-old Ohtani was set to face countryman Masahiro Tanaka for the first time in the majors. The two played against each other in Japan in 2013 when Ohtani was a teenager.

Asked if he was disappointed he couldn't play against Tanaka, Ohtani said: "Not the fact that it was Tanaka, but I want to play in as many games as possible. I think playing in more games, I'll get in a better rhythm.''

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