Angels manager Mike Scioscia says Shohei Ohtani pitched enough to win Rookie of the Year

ANAHEIM — To anyone who suggests that Shohei Ohtani’s chances for winning the American League Rookie of the Year award might be diminished by the fact that he didn’t pitch the entire season, Mike Scioscia has one message.

“He still pitched,” the Angels manager said before Friday’s game. “He pitched very well. I don’t know how many times (Gleyber) Torres pitched this year.”

That, of course, would be zero. Neither Torres nor his New York Yankees teammate, Miguel Andújar, pitched this season.

Therein lies the most compelling argument for Ohtani to win the award over any of the everyday hitters, even though both Torres and Andújar have significantly more at-bats.

Ohtani had come to the plate 308 times prior to Friday’s game, hitting .294 with 19 homers and a .967 OPS. Andújar, who would probably be the favorite of the two Yankees, had 545 plate appearances, with a .299 average, 23 homers and an .851 OPS.

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Ohtani added 51-2/3 innings over 10 starts, with a 3.31 ERA. He pitched just once after June 6, when he was diagnosed with a damaged ulnar collateral ligament. He threw 49 pitches on Sept. 2, an outing that revealed new damage, requiring Tommy John surgery.

HONORS

The Angels selected Andrew Heaney as the winner of the Nick Adenhart Award, which annually goes to the team’s best pitcher. Mike Trout was named the team MVP.

The Adenhart Award is named for the rookie pitcher who was killed by a drunk driver in April 2009, just four games into his career.

Heaney is 9-9 with a 3.98 ERA, and he has not missed a start since returning on April 13 from a short stint on the disabled list to start the season. He leads the team with 165 innings.

This is Heaney’s first full season after coming back from Tommy John surgery.

“Not just this year, but if you look at Andrew over the course of his career and his time here, he’s grown as a pitcher,” Scioscia said. “He’s a tremendous human being. He and his wife do so much. Anything he finds the time for.

“Just look at how much adversity he’s faced during his career. To see him put together a year like he has now – when its all said and done, he’ll approach 200 innings – it’s remarkable. He feels a great honor because he knows what Nick meant to us. And he knows what a great honor it is and he respects that.”

Trout won the MVP, which is no surprise. He has won the award in all seven of his seasons with the Angels, although he shared it with Andrelton Simmons in 2017.

Trout was hitting .318 with 33 homers and a 1.085 OPS. He is in the running for his third American League MVP award, although he’s an underdog because many voters prefer candidates on contending teams.

ALSO

Pitcher Tyler Skaggs (groin) played catch in Arizona on Friday. He will return to Southern California on Saturday, and he could rejoin the Angels’ rotation next week, Scioscia said. …

The Angels announced that they have sold 3 million tickets for the 16th consecutive season. The Angels and Yankees are the only teams that have reached that mark each year in that span. …

The Angels held their annual Ducks night, which included special Angels-Ducks hybrid jerseys for batting practice. Ducks goaltender John Gibson, defenseman Hampus Lindholm, defenseman Brandon Montour, forward Adam Henrique and defenseman Josh Manson took batting practice before the Angels’ regular workout. One of Gibson’s drives one-hopped the fence.

UP NEXT

Angels (LHP Andrew Heaney, 9-9, 3.98) vs. Mariners (RHP Erasmo Ramírez, 2-3, 5.31), Saturday, 6 p.m., Fox Sports West, KLAA (830 AM)

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