Sho Time: Angels' Shohei Ohtani Returns to Form
We're talking about the angels and not Mike Trout Ouden. Gonzales covers baseball for ESPN. He was recently angels. Camp attract the recovery of two way superstar. Shohei Ohtani. Who's a big star might trout or Shohei Ohtani. I think Shohei is a bigger star. You should see just the media presence that follows him everywhere. They're like twenty Japanese reporters in spring training. Who are just like following him around everywhere. Unlike Mike. Trout doesn't have that people are interested like they're fascinated by this guy so you save time. He's back but he played last season. What do you mean when you say Otani is back? Shohei Otani is back to being the fullest version of himself. Couple years ago came early from Japan in his early twenties and he showed that a player can thrive the highest levels of the sport by being a very competent hitter. Sil- a lights out pitcher GONNA MISS DOT goes down nasty splitter straight down swing that last year spent the two thousand nine hundred nine season rehabbing from Tommy John Surgery while hitting in the lineup. Now starting around May of this season. We're going to see that two way sensation again. I don't think baseball has been excited about a player. A longtime. Why is there so much excitement around Shohei right now because we literally haven't seen this in a hundred years because it's new because maybe it gives us hope that we're gonNA continue to see this? From other athletes in the future. He was just scratching the surface of just how good he can be. And now we get a chance to see it for an entire year. That's incredibly exciting. Well we will get eventually just not at the start of the season right. Yeah so the angels are going to be very conservative with Shohei Ohtani. He had the Tommy John Surgery in October of two thousand eighteen. He had knee surgery in September of Twenty nineteen throughout April. He's GonNa serve as a designated hitter and because of the new rule that allows for two way players. He can go rehab on a minor league assignment as a pitcher in the meantime so he's going to be able to hit in their lineup. As a designated hitter you're probably bat cleanup or bat third behind Mike Trout. I'm going to say maybe four to five times a week and then at some point around the middle of May he's GonNa be a starting pitcher for them to the grand experiment will be back on basically. Yes this experiment. The wrong word. No I think experiment is still the right word because in so many ways the angels are sort of setting the blueprint for how something like this done. They have nothing else to go on except for maybe what he did in Japan which is completely different league. They don't travel across time zones in Japan. They don't play as many games. In Japan. Angels are doing this by themselves. He's going to start once a week. Not once every five games he is not going to hit either the day before he starts or the day after his starts and he's definitely not going to be in the line up on the day of his start so you're looking at twenty starts in the season maybe one hundred games in the lineup. Still a good amount but definitely going the conservative route there. Let's back up to win. Shohei I came to baseball two years ago. What were the expectations like for him? And why was he so special? Will those a lot of wonder about a guy attempting to do this? There was a lot of doubt definitely but a lot of the people scouted him in Japan. Came Away raving about this guy. His batting practices are the stuff of legend. He's incredibly fast. He might be just as fast as Mike Trout. And that's one thing that people don't talk about on the pitching side. The Guy Those one hundred miles an hour he throws a split finger. That's like one of the nastiest pitches that you'll ever see so you have a guy coming over here with that kind of talent and the fascinating thing about Shohei is. He shows up to spring training in two thousand eighteen. And he's awful. He can't get anybody out. Pitching seven runs in the inning. So not the day that. Otani was hoping for today here facing the rocky. Looks like a mess in the batter's box completely off balance chasing pitches. Here's the next delivery and that is a big swing and miss thereby and within like four to five weeks of him attempting to do this. You have scouts saying that he's not going to be able to hit in the major leagues. You have people saying that. He needs to start the season in the minors. You have people saying that the angels should completely scrap their plans of having him be a two way player and just let him try to develop as a pitcher. Because it's too hard to do it at this level and then all of a sudden the season starts and it's like a light switch goes off. Here's the next pitch and he lets well hidden and the right center.