SEATTLE — Yes, Shohei Ohtani takes batting practice. Every day.
Angels hitting coach Jeremy Reed wanted to clarify that after a comment he made was taken out of context and circulated online.
Reed said on Friday that he was referring to batting practice on the field when he answered a question about Ohtani’s preparation for the Home Run Derby.
Ohtani took BP on the field on Opening Day, and he hasn’t done it since.
That isn’t that unusual. Mike Trout and Justin Upton also rarely take batting practice on the field, opting instead to get their work done in the indoor batting cages.
“You can get into launch mode out here,” Reed said, motioning to the batting cage on the field. “You can turn and burn and open up and want to see it travel. That’s good for some guys at different times. But when you’re in a really good position and your routine is solid and you’re getting everything you need (inside), it’s not always beneficial to come out here and do this.”
Reed said that it’s also easier in the indoor cage to use a machine that throws at high velocity or that throws breaking balls.
So the type of batting practice display that Ohtani figures to show at the Derby on Monday at Coors Field is not something that the Angels have seen this year.
Not in batting practice anyway.
“The routine that he has is so good, where he keeps repeating the position he’s in, that there’s no need for him to get on the field and see the ball fly,” Reed said. “We’re seeing it fly on a regular basis in games.”
Trout, who is out with a strained calf, has continued to take batting practice and throw throughout the week. The center fielder is beginning a running progression.
The Angels still aren’t sure when the three-time American League MVP will be able to begin a rehab assignment, but Manager Joe Maddon is expecting that to come after the All-Star break.
Upton, who is out because of back tightness, made the trip to Seattle for the final series before the first half, but Maddon reiterated that he’s “not anticipating” that the left fielder would be ready to play until after the All-Star break.
IN THE BEGINNING
Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais was the Angels’ director of player development in 2015, and he was sitting in the draft room when they made Jared Walsh their 39th-round pick.
Recalling that day on Friday, Servais said that late in the draft the Angels still weren’t sure if they had a pitcher or a position player with Walsh. Later that summer, when Walsh was moved from the rookie-level Arizona League to rookie-level Orem, he started to get a clue they might have something.“When I got a chance to see him play at Orem, I thought maybe there’s more power there than I thought there was,” Servais recalled. “But he’s a two-way guy. Could be a pitcher. I don’t know how this is going to play out. But he’s figured it out. He’s putting together a really good season.”
Walsh’s first half earned him a spot in next week’s All-Star Game.
Griffin Canning gave up six runs in two innings in his first Triple-A outing on Thursday night. He also walked five and hit a batter. The Angels demoted Canning, who was once their top pitching prospect, in order for him to improve his command. …
The Angels optioned reliever Aaron Slegers and recalled utilityman Kean Wong. Maddon said they didn’t need Slegers for bullpen coverage with just three games left before the break. They also want to stretch him out more at Triple-A.
Angels (LHP Patrick Sandoval, 2-2, 3.86 ERA) at Mariners (RHP Chris Flexen, 7-3, 3.80), Saturday, 7:10 p.m., Bally Sports West, 830 AM