Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani gets ‘precautionary’ day off with back issue – Orange County Register

SAN DIEGO –If NHK viewers in Japan set their alarms to rise early on a Monday morning and watch Shohei Ohtani face Yu Darvish, they should have slept in.

Ohtani was not in the Dodgers’ starting lineup Sunday against Darvish and the San Diego Padres after leaving Saturday’s game early with lower back tightness.

“I just felt some discomfort while working out yesterday,” Ohtani said through his interpreter. “I personally feel that I can play but just taking it easy.”

Ohtani said he began feeling the discomfort in his lower back during his pregame workout on Saturday. He went 0 for 3 with a walk in Saturday’s game before Dodgers manager Dave Roberts replaced him with a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning.

“I started to feel the tightness grow a little bit more throughout the game,” Ohtani said. “But when I woke up this morning I actually felt pretty good.”

He went through his normal pregame routine Sunday. But Roberts stuck with his plan to rest his DH on Sunday. Will Smith started at DH instead.

“I was pretty clear that he wasn’t going to play today,” Roberts said of his conversation with Ohtani after Saturday’s game. “We’re in the middle of 13 in a row. He was gonna get a day at some point in time. So with a little bit of smoke (discomfort), I just want to make sure we put that to bed.”

Ohtani said it was his “intention” to be available to pinch-hit at some point Sunday but Roberts said that would be another conversation at some point.

Roberts gave Ohtani a day off on May 1, pairing it with the team’s off day the following day. He has started 40 of the team’s 42 games but Roberts said he doesn’t have a specific plan to give Ohtani occasional days off.

“We need him healthy for the long run. It’s still one game, and his health is most important. So there’s no reason to push it right now,” Roberts said.

“It just goes to kind of understanding the ultimate goal, and that’s to make sure that Shohei is ready all year and optimum through October.”


Ohtani was asked what he thought of the atmosphere at Petco Park this weekend. The Dodgers’ visit drew sellout crowds each day including a Petco Park record 46,701 Saturday night.

“Overall just very passionate fans here in San Diego,” Ohtani said. “But I also do see that there are a lot of Dodger fans. So it’s hard to determine who’s home and who’s away.”


With 13 consecutive games before their next off day, the Dodgers will have to make a decision about who to start on Wednesday in San Francisco. They’ve already made one part of that decision, according to Roberts – it won’t be Tyler Glasnow.

“He’s not going to go on four days (rest), no,” Roberts said.

Four days’ rest has been the standard for decades. But the Dodgers have given their starting pitcher at least five days’ rest between starts all but twice this season (Bobby Miller went on four days April10 and Gavin Stone on May 8). Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Stone will be on five days’ rest Monday and Tuesday in San Francisco. Glasnow will be pushed back to Thursday so that he gets five days off, leaving an opening for a bullpen game or a spot starter on Wednesday.

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