LA Angels: 3 key takeaways from the Opening Series

Jared Walsh, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Jared Walsh, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Angels
Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

Angels Opening Series: Shohei Ohtani is finally healthy, and he is nasty.

In 2018, Shohei Ohtani busted onto the MLB scene throwing 100+ MPH fastballs off the mound, and hitting 450-plus feet moonshots at the plate. MLB and Angels fans, alike, couldn’t get enough of the two-way phenom and his unworldly skill set.

Ohtani went on to win Rookie of the Year in the American League, hitting 22 bombs and while starting ten games on the mound striking out 11 batters per nine innings, to the tune of a 3.31 ERA. Ohtani was forced off of the mound in late September after undergoing Tommy John Surgery, making him a one-way player in 2019 and only throwing 1.2 innings in 2020.

Now having overcome Tommy John surgery, a power-sucking knee surgery, and a pandemic-shortened 2020, Shohei is healthy. And he is nasty.

The two-way Japanese star had his power and arm on full display against the White Sox, hitting two tape-measure home runs while pumping 100+ MPH with a devastating splitter on the mound. Maybe, most notably, Ohtani hit in the middle of the order on the day he pitched for the first time in his MLB career, after Angels manager Joe Maddon has taken all restrictions off of Ohtani, allowing him to be a “baseball player without a lot of limitations”.

In case you missed it, here’s a snapshot of the Shohei’s insane talent that was on display:

Unfortunately, his start on Sunday came to an end after an awkward, ugly play at the plate caused by a bad missed strike from the home plate umpire that should have rung up Jose Abreu, followed by a bad throw from catcher Max Stassi trying to knab Yoan Moncada at first base after a swinging strikeout passed ball.

The Angels clubhouse has come out and said that Shohei is “fine” and just has some general soreness. All together now Angels fans – phew! Here’s the ugliness that caused us all to hold our breaths:

With Ohtani healthy, he finally able to put his two-way talents on full display. More importantly, the Angels have an elite arm and an elite bat in their repertoire.