Angels Six-Man Rotation – Shohei Ohtani
If Shohei Ohtani wasn’t taking the mound for the first time in over a year and a half, one would almost be inclined to label him the ace of the Angels staff. However, since this is the first time we’ll see the two-way star throwing a pitch since his rookie season in 2018, the Angels are going to err on the side of caution. Instead, they’ll deploy him just once a week and consider a six-man rotation to stick to that plan.
Do we all need a reminder of what Ohtani brought to the Angels as a pitcher?
Before his season was cut short in 2018, the right-hander put together an impressive 51.2 innings of work, including a 3.31 ERA, an 11.0 K/9 ratio, and a 3.57 FIP. His fastball often sat between 91-94, adding a change-up that ran 85 and a slider that topped out at 84 mph.
Will Ohtani stay as effective when he retakes the mound in 2020? That remains the million-dollar question. The Angels appear ready to do whatever they can to not only keep him healthy but also not rush him along too quickly.
With three more seasons of team control after 2020, there is little incentive to risk Ohtani’s long-term value to the club. With such a shortened season, the Angels will need all hands on deck if they have a shot at the postseason. However, if there is ever a sniff of the team falling out of contention, don’t be surprised if he gets shut down early.