A look at what is happening around the majors on Friday:
Two-way star Shohei Ohtani has been dropped from his scheduled start for the Angels against Oakland due to a sore right arm that could knock him out as a pitcher for the remainder of the season.
“If the pain is ongoing, you may not see it,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said ahead of Thursday’s game against the Chicago White Sox.
Ohtani (9-2, 3.36 ERA) felt sore muscles while playing catch on Wednesday. Maddon said there are currently no plans to have Ohtani examined by a doctor, nor has it been established when he would try to resume the catch.
The arm discomfort will not prevent Ohtani from striking further. Ohtani entered the game against the White Sox on Thursday with 44 home runs in second place in the Major League.
Long-time Phillies starter Vince Velasquez is making his first start since signing a minor league contract with the pitches of exhausted padres.
The 29-year-old Righty will be cut from Philadelphia this week and will kick off the series in St. Louis in a matchup of the NL wildcard contenders. Blake Snell was originally pitched, but was added to the list of injured with a strained adductor. Padres starter Chris Paddack is also out due to an elbow infection.
Velasquez was 3-6 that year with a 5.95 ERA for the Phillies. He was 30-40 for Philadelphia over six seasons.
“Knowing that there is an opportunity they lost a few starters, I have three weeks to help them get a boost,” he said. “I know it probably wasn’t the toughest year for me. But I think a new setting, a new team … will help. “
In August, the Padres attempted to reinforce their rotation with an experienced pitcher and signed Jake Arrieta after he was released by the Cubs. Arrieta is 0-2 with 8.25 ERA in three starts for San Diego.
Freddie Freeman and the Atlanta Braves begin a three-game series against Brandon Crawford and the San Francisco Giants in a duel of the NL leaders.
Ian Anderson (7-5, 3.61 ERA) plays for Atlanta at the start of a 10-game journey that ends with a big three-game set in San Diego. Logan Webb (10-3, 2.80 ERA) is aiming for his third straight win for San Francisco.
The Braves (76-68) want to stop Philadelphia in the NL East, and the Giants (95-52), who lead the Major League, are pushed out of the west by World Series Champion Dodgers. The teams also played in August, with the Braves winning two out of three in Atlanta.
Astros left-handed Framber Valdez was scratched from his last scheduled launch after cutting his index finger on his flapping hand.
Valdez was due to start Thursday night for the AL West leaders in Texas. Houston coach Dusty Baker said Valdez was cut Wednesday when he put his hand on the outfield wall during punch training at the Rangers’ year-old home.
This is the same finger Valdez broke early in spring training when he was hit in the hand on a line drive by Francisco Lindor of the Mets and incapacitated him for two months.
Valdez could be playing at home in Arizona this weekend. The 27 year old is 10-5 with a 3.26 ERA in 19 starts.
More AP-MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.