LA Angels: The Angels shouldn’t have Shohei Ohtani Hit when He Pitches

(Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images) /

The Winter Meetings are currently under way and LA Angels manager Joe Maddon, was there being interviewed by many news sources. Shohei Ohtani was brought up during that interview, and Maddon gave some of his views on how he might handle Ohtani’s workload.

According to an article by Jeff Fletcher, he writes “LA Angels Manager Joe Maddon said on Monday that he’s open to having Ohtani hit on the days he is pitching. The Angels would simply forgo the use of the designated hitter on those days.” This comes as a concern, as Ohtani is still in the process of recovering from Tommy John and a knee surgery, however, he has made progress according to the same article “He has been throwing off a mound for about a week, with about two more weeks to go.”

This should come as good news to Angels fans as many are still wondering what the plan was for Ohtani, and although no official plan is made yet, we should be getting closer to it as the season approaches. Maddon’s idea would certainly get Ohtani more plate appearances, however, the old process in which Ohtani got a day of rest before and after his starts would make more sense to ease him into the season, especially if people are concerned with how he will approach the season after surgery.

While the whole coaching staff and of course Joe Maddon will be constantly monitoring Ohtani and making sure he feels right, it should be a concern if they push him too far. While Angels fans would certainly love the increase in offensive production if he sees more plate appearances, the blow could be huge should he re-aggravate a previous injury and miss even more time. The Angels would certainly need him in the line-up and the rotation playing consistently well should they look to compete next season, and injuries are all too familiar to the club.

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The article also adds a piece from a text between Billy Eppler and Mickey Callaway, the Angels pitching coach stating “Shohei looked pretty darn good today. He does it very easy.” This is definitely good news as Shohei seems to already impressing his new pitching coach, who should get some praise after coaching  the Indians pitching staff. While Callaway didn’t succeed as the New York Mets manager, his talents in pitching has definitely earned him recognition throughout the league, which is why the Angels pursued him as their pitching coach.

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It will certainly be a collaborative effort by the Angels staff to make sure Shohei Ohtani doesn’t injure himself again and they should reconsider the idea of putting him out there only to just get more offensive production out of it. Ohtani is too good of a player to risk further injury if he doesn’t have too and the original plan placed by Mike Scioscia should be the blueprint for how Maddon will goes about Ohtani and his plan for next season.