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Shohei Ohtani’s first start will be Sunday

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The Angels selected the contract of pitcher/DH Shohei Ohtani and added him to the 40-man and 25-man roster. To create a 40-man spot, they designated catcher Carlos Perez for assignment.

That may not be super shocking news, but Ohtani has struggled mightily this spring, neither hitting nor pitching well, and at least some people have suggested giving him some time in the minors. That always seemed extraordinarily unlikely given the attention that has been focused on the two-way star, both in terms of media coverage and, likely, in ticket sales and marketing. He was always going to be given the opportunity to fail at the big league level before seeing time at Salt Lake City. It’s certainly the call most of us would make if we ran the club.

Ohtani is scheduled to make his major league pitching debut Sunday when he starts for the Los Angeles Angels in their fourth game of the season at Oakland. He is likewise expected to be the team’s designated hitter in at least one of the first three games, but it’s unclear if that will happen in the opener tomorrow.

 

Yu Darvish lands on 10-day disabled list again with triceps tendinitis

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Bad news for the Cubs’ Yu Darvish: The right-hander is headed back to the disabled list with right triceps tendinitis, the team announced Saturday. It’s the second such assignment for Darvish this season, but the first time he’s been sidelined with arm issues. Neither the severity of his injury nor a concrete timeframe for his recovery has been revealed yet, but the move is retroactive to May 23 and will allow him to come off the DL by June 2, assuming all goes well.

Prior to the injury, Darvish went 1-3 in eight starts with a 4.95 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 through 40 innings. Needless to say, these aren’t the kind of results the Cubs were hoping to see after inking the righty to a six-year, $126 million contract back in February, though the circumstances affecting his performances appear to have largely been out of his control. He missed a start in early May after coming down with the flu and has struggled to pitch beyond the fifth inning in five of his eight starts to date.

The Cubs recalled left-hander Randy Rosario from Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move. Rosario has yet to amass more than five career innings in the majors, but has impressed at Triple-A so far this year: he maintained an 0.97 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 through 19 1/3 innings in 2018. As for Darvish’s next scheduled turn in the rotation, Tyler Chatwood is lined up to take the mound when the Cubs face off against the Giants in the series finale on Sunday. A starter for Monday night’s game has yet to be determined.