Shohei Ohtani will be on the mound for the Los Angeles Angels on Monday in Anaheim, Calif., when they play the Colorado Rockies. Ohtani also is expected to be in the lineup as a batter.
It will be Ohtani's second start since his All-Star Game start, getting a no-decision last Monday when he threwsix scoreless innings against Oakland, giving up just three hits and striking out eight.
Ohtani, though, struggled on offense immediately following the All-Star Game, going 4 for 24 with 14 strikeouts in six games before taking a seat for Friday's game against Minnesota.
The day off seemed to help, as Ohtani went 4 for 7 with a homer, two doubles and an intentional walk against the Twins over the weekend. His home run Sunday was his 35th of the season and his second since the break.
"He just always responds," Angels manager Joe Maddon said of Ohtani's performance over the weekend following Friday's day off. "He likes the spotlight, he likes the big moment."
Even the fans in Minneapolis were not happy to see Ohtani walked intentionally in the eighth inning Sunday with a runner on third and two out -- they booed.
"I was booing too," Maddon joked. "But it was the right move."
The game against the Rockies Monday will be the first in a seven-game homestand, but center fielder Mike Trout (strained right calf) isn't expected to return to the lineup before the club returns to the road.
Trout has been out since May 17 and was expected to miss eight weeks, but it's been 10 weeks since suffering the injury running the bases. His rehab now includes running the bases and taking batting practice, but he still feels "something" in his calf when running hard. He will undergo further tests on Monday.
Right-hander German Marquez (8-7, 3.50 ERA) will make the start for Colorado, coming back to earth in his last start after pitching as well as anybody heading into the All-Star break.
In his last five starts before the break, Marquez went 4-0 with a 0.75 ERA (3 earned runs in 36 innings), allowing just 12 hits, striking out 34 and garnering an All-Star selection. But in his first start following the break last Tuesday, he gave up four runs and seven hits over six innings in a loss to Seattle.
Not to worry, as Marquez, with an upper-90s fastball, one of the best curveballs in the majors and a good head on his shoulders, isn't expected to struggle for long.
"I've always thought that there was an everyday consistency to him emotionally," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "I always thought that he was going to grow into something good. That's part of his strength -- his consistency emotionally. Behind that, there's a confidence."
Marquez has faced the Angels once in his career, giving up two runs in seven innings in a game last season, getting a no-decision. Ohtani has never faced the Rockies.
--Field Level Media