Since the announcement that Shohei Ohtani had agreed to come to Anaheim, the Angel blogosphere has been afire with ideas and suggestions as to what manager Mike Scioscia needs to do to keep the most interesting prospect in baseball productive and healthy.
Just here at Halo Hangout, there’s already been ample discussion as to the upfront concerns about keeping Ohtani healthy, including going to a six-man rotation — and that was before the freak out that went along with the revelation that Shohei Ohtani had an elbow procedure that was not made public before his signing. (It was only a revelation to the public, as MLB and all 30 teams knew about the procedure beforehand.)
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The amount of digital ink split over this 23-year-old foreign prospect is both astonishing, especially considering just how little Americans actually know about Ohtani; the “Japanese Babe Ruth” label tends to eclipse reasonable approaches to the types of expectations he’ll be dealing with. That said, the amount of attention is also completely reasonable. After all, what’s better than a true-to-life Sidd Finch fantasy? Playing overseas, Ohtani’s raw numbers fly off the page, and without an eye test or American minor league comparables, our collective imaginations feel free to run wild.
Fantasy baseball sites, not knowing how to handle a player of Ohtani’s versatility, have taken the King Solomon approach and split Ohtani in half, treating him as two different players. That’s actually the approach the Angels should take as well when thinking about how to best utilize him.