Just hours after the club placed superstar Mike Trout on the injured list with a hamate fracture, the Angels fans are surely reeling after watching a franchise icon exit due to injury for the second consecutive night. Two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani left his start this evening with what the club announced as a right middle finger blister. Outfielder Jo Adell then pinch-hit for Ohtani the next time he was due up to bat.
Following the game, Ohtani told reporters (including Sam Blum of The Athletic) through his interpreter that he wasn’t sure how his hitting would be impacted by the injury in the short term. With just three games left until the All Star break, it would be understandable if the club decided to proceed with caution and give their superstar extra time off to heal and prepare for the second half. Ohtani, who was elected to the All Star game as the starting DH for the AL, noted he does not expect to pitch due to the injury, though he did not comment on whether he would participate as a hitter.
The blister issue comes on the heels of Ohtani having his start, originally scheduled for yesterday, pushed back a day while he dealt with a cracked fingernail. As noted by Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register, the fingernail issue hadn’t fully healed prior to tonight’s game and contributed to the blister, which worsened as the start went on. Ohtani indicated that he’s hopeful he’ll be able to make his next start, which would likely be slated for the Astros series that immediately follows the All Star break.
Ohtani wasn’t the only big name player to exit tonight’s 8-5 loss to the Padres with an injury, as third baseman Anthony Rendon fouled a ball off his shin and exited the game. Per Fletcher, Rendon’s x-rays came back negative and he was diagnosed with a shin contusion. After the game, Rendon used crutches while speaking to reporters. As noted by Blum, the veteran infielder told reporters that he expects to know more about whether or not he’s headed for a stint on the injured list tomorrow but that “it’s not looking good” regarding his ability to return to action in short order.
Anaheim’s awful fortune in the injury department comes as the club looks to stop a 4-10 skid that has seen them fall to an uninspiring 45-43 record. That record leaves the Halos seven games back in the AL West and four games out of a Wild Card spot as they try to make the most of Ohtani’s final season under team control before he can hit the open market this offseason for what is perhaps the most anticipated free agency of all time. Going forward, they’ll look to keep things afloat in the run up to the trade deadline on August 1 and Trout’s return, which is expected to occur sometime next month.