Triple Digit Heat
On the mound, Shohei Ohtani is one imposing presence. He boasts the triple-digit fastball that not many starting pitchers have these days still. While bullpen arms who throw in the upper 90s and beyond are seemingly growing on trees, starters who do it are not in heavy supply. While this could be an argument in favor of keeping the unique Ohtani in the starting rotation long-term (or at least attempting to keep him there), it can also be an argument for turning him into one of the game’s best closers.
The Angels need bullpen help and starting rotation help and while they have the liberty of choosing what they want to do with Shohei Ohtani, closing might be the best option for him for the reasons being described.
Back in 2018, Ohtani was very good at limiting the long ball and limiting hard contact. This is a key thing for a closer in the MLB to do and he could find great success in the back end of a major league bullpen. Ohtani had obvious issues in his brief return to the big leagues as a starting pitcher in 2020 and hopefully it doesn’t point to signs of things to come out of the starting rotation. The Angels need him on his A-game in whatever capacity they get him in. That all starts with health.