Ohtani allowed one run on three hits while walking two and striking out five batters in 1.2 innings of work. All three hits were doubles, and the right-hander’s fastball sat in the 96-100 MPH range in his outing which he totaled 41 pitches. It wasn’t perfect, but it was great to see Ohtani back on the mound.
Angels: Shohei Ohtani reached 100 MPH and struck out five in his first start.
In the same week Ohtani blasts a 468 foot home run, he lights up the radar gun with a 100 MPH fastball. The Angels truly have something special in this 26-year old.
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Manager Joe Maddon said before the game, Ohtani will be used in a six-man rotation this season without a specific day of the week assigned for him to pitch. There will be no limits on Ohtani, but Maddon and his coaching staff will be keeping a close eye on their two-way star.
As spring training continues, Ohtani will get more looks on the mound and opportunities to perfect his pitching. He looks good, and more importantly, Ohtani has repeatedly said he feels good and is not concerned about his health.
Ohtani was limited to just two starts after an elbow injury last summer. Before that, Ohtani did not pitch during the 2019 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. When he was on the mound in 2018, Ohtani posted a 3.31 ERA and 11.0 strikeout-to-walk ratio through ten starts en route to winning Rookie of the Year in the American League.
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Nobody knows their limits better than Ohtani, so I think it’s the right move for the Angels front office and coaching staff not to put any restrictions on his preparations for the regular season.
There’s no telling the potential of Ohtani for a full 162-game season when healthy.