We can hold off on the GOAT labels for the time being, but there’s no denying that Shohei Ohtani has made quite the impression this spring. The Angels’ DH/starting pitcher enjoyed a hit in his first-ever MLB at-bat on Opening Day, followed by a quality start against the Athletics and home runs off of Josh Tomlin and Corey Kluber. On Friday night, he added to his list of accomplishments with another blast, this one off of A’s right-hander Daniel Gossett.
The Angels were down 6-0 in the second inning when Ohtani located a 2-0 fastball from Gossett, driving it over the center field wall to put the Angels on the board. It’s the first home run Gossett has given up this season.
In case you were wondering, the last rookie to hit at least three home runs in his first four career games was Orioles outfielder Trey Mancini, who clubbed three home runs against the Red Sox and Diamondbacks in the fall of 2016 (though he wasn’t talked about nearly as much as Rockies shortstop Trevor Story, who racked up six homers in his first four games earlier that year).
Ohtani’s heroic home run wasn’t the be-all and end-all of the Angels’ offense, however. They rallied again in the fourth inning on Andrelton Simmons‘ ground-rule double and couple of RBI base hits from Luis Valbuena and Martin Maldonado and currently trail the Athletics 6-5 in the fifth.
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.