Marlins reliever Randy Choate shut down with elbow injury

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Randy Choate has done his usual solid work as the Marlins’ left-handed specialist, posting a 1.82 ERA while holding left-handed hitters to a .145 batting average, but it sounds like the 35-year-old reliever won’t pitch again this season.

Choate, who logged a grand total of just 25 innings in 54 appearances because of his specialist usage, was placed on the disabled list yesterday with elbow inflammation and replied “I doubt it” when asked about returning before 2012.

“I would love to pitch some more, but I don’t want to do anything stupid,” Choate told Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. “I’d rather be completely healed for next season.”

Which makes sense, because the Marlins are 15 games out of a playoff spot and Choate is under contract for $1.5 million in 2012.

Watch: Shohei Ohtani strikes out his first spring training batter

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Sure, spring training games don’t count toward anything “real,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Angels’ star pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani mowing down his first big league competitors.

On Saturday, Ohtani took the mound against the Brewers for his first official outing in an Angels uniform. After allowing a leadoff double to Jonathan Villar, the 23-year-old righty settled down and issued a three-pitch strikeout to Nate Orf, his first of the spring.

It wasn’t the cleanest inning for the right-hander: the Brewers plated their first run on a walk, wild pitch and subsequent throwing error by catcher Martin Maldonado. Ohtani didn’t let things unravel further, however, and induced a pop-up for the second out before catching Brett Phillips looking on a called strike three to end the inning.

While the two-way phenom only lasted another two batters (a Keon Broxton dinger finished him off in the second), he’s already started to look like a formidable presence on the mound. Time will tell whether he can deliver at the plate as well — rumor has it he could feature in the Angels’ lineup as soon as Monday.