Where EAST meets the Northwest
BOUND FOR THE MOUND. Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels bats during a
spring training baseball game in Tempe, Arizona, in this February 28, 2020 file
photo. Ohtani will resume his two-way career when baseball returns. (AP
Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
From The Asian Reporter, V30, #08 (July 6, 2020), page 10.
Shohei Ohtani returns to two-way role with Angels this season
By Greg Beacham
The Associated Press
ANAHEIM, Calif. ó Shohei Ohtani will resume his two-way career with the Los
Angeles Angels when baseball returns.
Angels general manager Billy Eppler confirmed that his Japanese star will
pitch and hit in the majors this season.
Ohtani was only a designated hitter last season after undergoing Tommy John
surgery. He wasnít expected to pitch in 2020 until at least May, and Eppler
confirmed that the coronavirus pandemic hasnít altered the Angelsí plans.
"Weíll probably have a little bit more of a governor on him, at least at the
outset," Eppler said. "Heís had a number of live (throwing sessions against
hitters), but we want to up that intensity a little bit more and put him into a
game situation. Just watching how he responds on a day-to-day basis will help
guide us to how much we can push down on the gas pedal on him. Weíre expecting
him to be on the mound and stay on the mound and roll through spring training."
Manager Joe Maddon said he hoped Ohtani would start roughly once a week on
the mound while serving as the Halosí designated hitter in 3-4 games between
starts. The Angels could have a six-man rotation for the short season.
Ohtani batted .286 last season with 18 homers, 62 Runs Batted In (RBI), and
.848 On-base Plus Slugging (OPS) in 106 games. His production at the plate was
nearly identical to his work in 2018, when he was the AL Rookie of the Year
while making 10 starts on the mound.
Eppler said none of the Angelsí players are currently intending to opt out of
playing in the shortened season. That includes three-time AL MVP Mike Trout,
whose wife is due with their first child later this summer.
Eppler confirmed that first-round pick Reid Detmers will be on the Angelsí
summer roster as the 56th player, although the left-handed starter hasnít
officially yet been added.
Eppler also went into details on the Angelsí adherence to health and safety
protocols at Angel Stadium and at Blair Field in Long Beach, where the Angels
also will hold their summer camp. The Angels have removed communal couches and
tables from their clubhouses in a bid to remind their players of the new
"Think of the clubhouse as more of a closet," said Eppler, who has received
positive feedback from his players over their safety steps. "Itís where clothes
hang. Absent of anything you need to do in the training room or weight room, get
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