Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon hinted Wednesday that three-time American League Most Valuable Player Mike Trout, who hasn't played since May 17 due to a calf strain, will be shut down for the remainder of the year because the Angels are 71-74 on the season and well out of the playoff hunt.
Maddon and company may soon make a similar decision regarding two-way superstar and 2021 MVP candidate Shohei Ohtani.
According to Ryan Herrera of the MLB website, Ohtani will not pitch again through at least the weekend series against the Oakland Athletics after the 27-year-old felt soreness in his right arm following a Wednesday throwing session. Maddon added that he approached Ohtani about being shut down as a pitcher through the rest of the campaign even though it's believed the right-hander isn't dealing with a serious setback that will require a medical examination.
No final decision on the subject has yet been made.
"It hasn't gotten there yet," Maddon explained. "Actually, I did bring it up, but that'll be something that we'll talk about as he starts to feel better, and then we'll take it from there. I think he's got nine wins, and on a personal level, he probably is thinking about 10 — 10 always looks better than nine — but we can't permit that to be the driving factor. So we’ll just wait and see how he feels."
While Maddon remained open to letting Ohtani take the bump again before the regular season ends Oct. 3, everybody involved will have to think about beyond this fall before taking any kind of risk with such a valuable asset.