Los Angeles Angels: Shohei Ohtani’s Spring Start Nothing To Get Pissy Over
It is that beautiful time of year again when baseball is in it’s spring training season, the snow is starting to melt places, and of course people prematurely ejaculate or blow a top based upon a spring training game that means nothing. Today Los Angeles Angels fans and Shohei Ohtani haters are losing their tempers and minds based off of Shohei’s second spring start against the Chicago White Sox since suffering a right forearm strain that kept him from pitching in the 2020 season.
In today’s start, Shohei on a very strict pitch count showed shaky command and control and gave up a few hard hits. At the conclusion of the game, he was charged with 5 earned runs. When talking to the OC Register after the game, Shohei remarked, “Overall I felt really good,” Ohtani said through his interpreter. He said he was happy with his increased use of his curve, and also with the fastballs, he threw once runners were on base. He said he needs to work on getting the first hitter. “I haven’t pitched in a while because of my surgery and rehab, but up to this point I’m really satisfied with how the spring’s been turning out.” It’s easy to look at the earned runs and some of the highlights and say “wow Ohtani’s lost it” when in reality he needs a little bit more leash than that.
This is his second rehab start and the longest overall start he has had since coming back from injury. People need to realize that it takes some time in order to really get to that dominant level. Is it possible to make the argument that he is being found out? Sure. If someone wants to look at the surface and see the five earned runs and just assume Ohtani gave up a grand slam and whatnot. Also, if they want to judge a pitcher based on one two-inning 60-66 pitch count then by all means go for it.
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The facts are, we don’t have enough information to completely write off Shohei or any pitcher in the spring. The sample size is just too small to judge or project how he will do this season. Could this be a precursor of some issues? Absolutely. However even with that if Ohtani is feeling good with his previously injured arm and hitting high 90s with his fastball? the other stuff can be fixed headed towards the season.
What sort of season do you think Shohei Ohtani will have? Leave a comment below.
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Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports