We saw it a few times during Spring Training, but the plan on Sunday is for Shohei Ohtani to be the starting pitcher and be in the starting lineup.
According to Angels manager Joe Maddon, Ohtani approached him and told him that he wants to be in the lineup in addition to being on the mound for his first start of the season. Maddon didn’t have an answer as to how often we could see this happen, but the decision will be entirely up to Ohtani.
“To me, it’s up to him,” Maddon said. “When I spoke with him in Arizona he was very precise in regards to when he thinks he’s going to want to do that. It’ll be how well-rested he feels. Even then, he told me he wants to play in all the games versus Chicago.”
With Ohtani in the lineup Saturday night, Maddon was asked if there was a backup plan in case something were to happen to Ohtani and he’d be unable to pitch on Sunday. He said they had something ready to go, but it would likely be a bullpen game.
Again, as I mentioned last week, this isn’t something uncommon that Ohtani is doing. As Maddon mentioned, we see National League pitchers hit every day. The different is that Ohtani will be doing it while hitting second in the lineup. Oh, and being in the lineup the day before as well.
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