Angels’ Joe Maddon admits MVP frontrunner Shohei Ohtani may not pitch again in 2021

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Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Angels manager Joe Maddon admitted All-Star outfielder Mike Trout, who hasn’t seen the field since injuring his calf in May, is unlikely to return this season. With Los Angeles a postseason afterthought (clawing back to .500 would be an accomplishment at this point), might Maddon exercise the same caution with Shohei Ohtani, who was scratched from his scheduled pitching appearance Friday due to what the team has described as “lingering arm soreness”?

Ohtani’s presence in Thursday’s starting lineup, contributing two singles in a win over the White Sox (he was also at the center of a controversy that led to the ejections of Mike Wright and manager Tony La Russa), would suggest not, though Maddon conceded the right-hander may not be called on to pitch again this year.

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