Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani is getting a rest Thursday in the team’s series finale against the Texas Rangers. Mike Trout will take Ohtani’s spot as the designated hitter while Magneuris Sierra will fill in for Trout in center field.
If Ohtani doesn’t appear as a pinch-hitter later on, it will be just the second game he has missed since early August. He is scheduled to start on the mound Friday at Minnesota.
Ohtani’s overall production at the plate has taken a small step back this season; his OPS+ from his 2021 MVP campaign was 147 and is 139 this year. His offensive WAR, according to baseball-reference, has slipped from 4.9 to 3.6. Conversely, Ohtani has taken significant strides as a pitcher. He carries a 2.43 ERA with 196 strikeouts in 148 innings heading into his Friday start. His pitching WAR has increased from 4.1 last year to 5.3 this year.