Ohtani decides no longer to pitch, hits HR as a replacement

Shohei makes name to change preparation for Opening Day

12: 31 AM UTC

TEMPE, Ariz. — The Angels’ clubhouse had been initiate for no longer up to 30 minutes on Saturday when a workforce legitimate requested the media to step out of doorways.

Once the media gathered, the legitimate launched that Shohei Ohtani would no longer produce his scheduled delivery against the White Sox at Camelback Ranch. However, the legitimate added: Ohtani will not be any longer injured, is peaceable heading within the appropriate direction to begin the Angels’ popular-season opener on April 7 against the Astros and that the determination could well perhaps perhaps be extra defined by supervisor Joe Maddon.

About an hour later Maddon did unbiased that, reiterating that Ohtani, who peaceable faced Chicago as a designated hitter and led off the game with a dwelling bustle on the predominant pitch within the Halos’ 12-3 victory, modified into as soon as no longer damage and simply wished to change his routine. Maddon said Ohtani will figure out over the next two days and then produce a Cactus League delivery on Thursday, his final tune-up earlier than Opening Day.

“It’s unbiased going to be a workout on his procure terms, with what he thinks he wants to prepare,” Maddon said. “He’d pick to procedure it this suggests and I’m 100 p.c supportive of it. That’s in actuality all it is miles.”

Ohtani said he made the determination after learning he could well perhaps perhaps be the Opening Day starter, which he known as a “mountainous honor.” He said he wished the extra off-days in preference to making a couple of begins on four days’ relaxation.

“It shouldn’t be a problem,” Ohtani said. “I felt factual in my final day commute, and I peaceable absorb quite lots of days in between so I’m going to modify by throwing stay batting observe sessions or bullpen sessions.

“I procure very proud of how things are going appropriate now, and how they’re letting me be to blame for my procure workload.”

Maddon said he has realized to hear to Ohtani when the two-means star has one thing to utter about his bodily preparation, conscious that Ohtani is bizarre among Major Leaguers. He when put next Ohtani to punters and placekickers within the NFL, “guys that procedure one thing various within a reputable workforce.”

“There’s no one on this total roster who does what he does,” Maddon said. “There’s no one within the total industrial that does what he does. The final time I did that, I performed for Hazleton Excessive Faculty [Hazleton, Pa.], the establish I performed shortstop at some point soon and pitched the next.

“There’s no playbook. There’s no plot activity of doing this. I in actuality am going to hear to what he says. It roughly worked effectively final year. So, we’re going to continue to procedure that.”

Maddon said having Ohtani pitch on Thursday will effect apart him on his authorized six-day schedule earlier than Opening Day.

“It’s what he’s most proud of,” said Maddon, adding that Ohtani likely will be on a 90-pitch limit within the season opener. “You wish to scheme halt. He’s in actuality effectively thought out, and he has his procure activity and his procure program of how to prepare to procedure things. And I’m no longer going to intrude with that.”

Ohtani bought two items of factual news this week. No longer most bright modified into as soon as he named the Opening Day starter, however MLB and the MLBPA reportedly reached an settlement on — however absorb yet to officially articulate — quite lots of rule changes, along side the introduction of what’s being dubbed as the “Shohei Ohtani rule,” which enables any pitcher who serves as the DH to preserve within the lineup even after he’s lifted as the pitcher. That will perhaps perhaps perhaps mean up to 50 extra at-bats for Ohtani, who slashed .257/.372/.592 final season with 46 homers and 100 RBIs.

“I’ve heard rumors about it, however I wasn’t in actuality obvious it modified into as soon as going to be effect apart in plot,” Ohtani said. “Now that it is miles, I procure it’s going to be mountainous for me, for my fraction, and for the workforce, too.”

Pencil Fletcher in at shortstop

Maddon said David Fletcher is the “leading candidate” to be the Angels’ everyday shortstop. Fletcher, 27, performed 142 video games at second sinful final season, however Maddon likes the up-the-center defense he’ll absorb with Fletcher at shortstop and Matt Duffy at second.

Fletcher modified into as soon as a Gold Glove finalist final season at second sinful. He had a .990 fielding percentage, modified into as soon as within the 95th percentile in Outs Above Moderate and tied for second in DRS (11).

“You’ve heard me pronounce it earlier than,” Maddon said. “I procure he’s basically the most bright catching a ground ball in all of baseball, and with a in actuality factual arm. So, we’re going to are trying and pick perfect thing about that.”

Motivate in camp

Heart fielder Mike Trout returned to camp after attending a funeral, however he modified into as soon as no longer within the lineup against the White Sox.

“I pick, in spite of all the pieces the flying, simply to be in actuality orderly this day and he agreed with that,” Maddon said. “So, he’ll approach out and procedure some things, however we received’t push him the least bit.”

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