It looks like Shohei Ohtani is finally ready to cement himself as a member of the Angels’ starting rotation. After making 10 starts in 2018 as a rookie, Ohtani didn’t pitch a single inning in 2019. Now, he’s fully healthy and ready to go.
“We’ll stick with a similar script in 2018 where you saw the off day before and the off day after,” Angels GM Billy Eppler said on MLB Network. “I let our performance group drive the bus on that. They are the ones that are tasked with measuring his fuel tank on a day to day basis. They’ll communicate that to the coaching staff.”
Eppler said they’re looking at the schedule and are going to try and have him pitch a day before an off-day to try and use it as an advantage. Based on how their schedule looks, it appears that Ohtani will be pitching every Sunday.
“Right now we’re looking at Sunday’s,” he said. “We have the most Monday off-day’s. It could be some Wednesdays as well because there are some Thursday off-days.”
In his rookie season, Ohtani went 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA in 10 starts. He struck out 63 in 51 2⁄3 innings while posting a 127 ERA+, 3.57 FIP and a 1.16 WHIP.
His next mound work in intrasquad action is set for Sunday, setting him up perfectly for the season. In total, the Angels have three off-days on Mondays, which would give Ohtani a day of rest without missing a game as a designated hitter. According to manager Joe Maddon, Ohtani will not serve as DH on the day before his starts or the day after he starts.
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