MLB: Japan to keep Shohei Ohtani lined up for Angels’ opener

Shohei Ohtani’s electric run for Japan at the World Baseball Classic will include just one more pitching appearance as he stays lined up to pitch for the Los Angeles Angels on Opening Day.

Ohtani, whose WBC participation has been well anticipated, has not disappointed. He pitched four scoreless innings in Japan’s WBC-opening victory over China on Thursday and also added a two-run double in the 8-1 win.

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In four games of the tournament, all Japan victories, Ohtani is 6-for-12 (.500) with one home run, three doubles, eight RBIs and a 1.684 OPS.

Ohtani’s last WBC appearance on the mound will be in a quarterfinal game against Italy on Thursday at Japan. If Japan advances, Ohtani will not pitch in either the March 20 semifinals or the March 21 finals, but he is expected to be utilized as a hitter.

The schedule prevents Ohtani from potentially pitching against the United States, and Angels teammate Mike Trout.

After his quarterfinal outing on the mound, Ohtani’s next scheduled pitching appearance will be for the Angels in a March 24 spring-training game against the San Diego Padres. That will keep the right-hander lined up to pitch for the Angels on Opening Day against the Oakland Athletics on March 30.

Ohtani, who was named American League MVP in 2021, was 15-9 with a 2.33 ERA in 28 starts last season with the Angels and had an .875 OPS with 34 home runs and 95 RBIs as a hitter.

In four seasons as a pitcher, Ohtani is 28-14 with a 2.96 ERA in 63 starts and in five seasons as a hitter he has an .886 OPS with 127 home runs and 342 RBIs.

–Field Level Media

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