Shohei Ohtani might finally be able to show this season everything he can do as a two-way player.
Ohtani has been with the Los Angeles Angels since 2018, but he has only made 12 pitching starts in his career. That’s a surprise and disappointment considering he was projected to be a stronger pitcher than hitter in MLB.
The 26-year-old injured his arm in his first season, did not pitch at all in 2019 as he recovered from Tommy John surgery, and he hurt his elbow last season.
“Right now, I’m hearing full-go,” Maddon said of Ohtani when speaking with reporters on Tuesday. “The reports I’ve been getting are really good, honestly really good.”
Maddon, who is entering his second season as the Angels’ manager, says he doesn’t want to place any limits on Ohtani. The Japanese two-way player previously was limited to making one pitching start a week and DHing only 3-4 games per week.
Ohtani has been stunningly good as a hitter, batting .269/.340/.503 with an .843 OPS in his three seasons. He has often been the team’s best hitter after Mike Trout. If he can actually contribute on the mound the way he seems capable, he can be incredibly valuable to the Angels.