Los Angeles Angels GM Billy Eppler is turning Japanese

General Manager Billy Eppler, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)
General Manager Billy Eppler, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Angels signed Shohei Ohtani this past offseason. However, Angels GM Billy Eppler is still learning about his newest star player.

The Los Angeles Angels are loading up for 2018. They’ll be in the news and in conversations around water coolers all over the country. The biggest reason for this is Shohei Ohtani.

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Ohtani is a game changer for the Los Angeles Angels. In 2016 Ohtani threw a 1.86 ERA in 20 games for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. He has a career BA of .286. Also noteworthy, his career ERA is 2.52.

The Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters were founded in 1946. Originally from Tokyo, the team began playing in Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaidō in 2004. However, the team still plays a few games in Tokyo every year due to a popular fan base.

Billy Eppler is turning Japanese, I really think so.

Traveling to Japan to learn more about his new pitcher, Billy Eppler met with Ohtani’s former team to learn more about his new player. In Japan, they have a starting rotation of six pitchers versus the traditional five in the MLB. Eppler has led on that the Angels could experiment with a six-man rotation to accommodate Ohtani this season.

According to the Japanese Times, the 45-minute meeting was successful. Covering multiple topics about Ohtani, Eppler is certainly doing his homework for the Angels this winter.

You can almost be 100% certain that Eppler and Mike Scioscia will be extra detailed with Ohtani and the Angels this season. This is exciting news if you are an Angel fan. What this represents is the devotion that Eppler has to this team and the quest to get better.

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This offseason, Eppler addresses the need for more offensive firepower. He also is taking the time to gather all the information to incorporate his new pitcher/hitter. You have to applaud Eppler for this while also being optimistic about the Angels success this season.