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By Mitch Chortkoff
Sports Editor 

Get Ready: Ohtani, From Japan to The Angels To Hit And Pitch

They Win The International Bidding


December 14, 2017

Shohei Ohtani is a 23-year-old baseball star who’s been called The Babe Ruth of Japan. He wants to pitch, perhaps rest a day and then play in the outfield the rest of the week. However, the Angels are likely to make him a Designated Hitter at the outset. Playing the outfield will come later according to general manager Billy Eppler.

Angel fans better get used to the plan because an international competition ended last week when Ohtani said no to five other finalists and chose the Angels. The Dodgers were one of the finalists who didn’t win the competition. Ohtani is going to join the Angels’ biggest stars, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols as marquee players who’ll be judged by media and fans day after day. So what do we know about the guy? Scouts who have seen him a lot rave about his ability. He has the great stuff of seasoned major league pitchers and the hitting ability in the category of Ichiro, the former Japanese outfielder who’s produced very well in his 17 years in the majors. Ohtani’s fastball has been clocked at 102 mph.

Othani’s agent said his client felt a special bond with the Angels. Previously Ohtani had said he didn’t sign with the Yankees because he preferred a smaller environment on the West Coast. Some baseball experts say the Angels have the talent to employ a six-man starting rotation that would include Ohtani but allow him plenty of days to concentrate on hitting. “It’s important to realize we hadn’t signed a pitcher of his caliber in a long time,” said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. “So we’ll be fine with his pitching even if his hitting takes a little longer.”Asked to tell us more about Ohtani Eppler said “he’s very humble.”At a press conference a week ago Saturday Ohtani was asked what he’d prefer at the outset, pitching a strong game or hitting a home run.

“I’d like to do both in the same game,” he replied. Since this newspaper is located in Culver City and since the Dodgers made the playoffs the last four years and the Angels haven’t had that success I wrote about the Dodgers more often. That is likely to continue but me, like many LA area residents will now take a closer look at the Angels too. How about a Dodger-Angel World Series? Yes, you’re right. I’m getting way ahead of myself.


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