Will Shohei Ohtani pitch in the 2021 MLB All-Star Game?
By Evan Desai
Shohei Ohtani is one of two LA Angels who were selected as starters in the 2021 MLB All-Star Game.
We all know what he can do with his bat. The Major League home run leader now has upped his OPS to 1.045 due to his AL-leading .685 slugging percentage, and is hitting .277 with a .360 on-base percentage this season.
He’s driven in 63 RBI as the two-hole hitter in the Angels lineup, and the Angels haven’t even hit the 81-game halfway point of the season. However, it would break the internet if Ohtani could be sent out to pitch in the Midsummer Classic.
Shohei Ohtani provides more value than just who he is as the best DH in the All-Star Game.
Shohei Ohtani has been exceptional as the LA Angels’ ace this season. He has a 3.60 ERA along with a K/9 rate of 12.45, which is fourth in the American League among starting pitchers with at least 12 starts.
It would be hard to fit in Ohtani as a pitcher in the game, as the AL team would have to keep batting pitchers if they moved their DH to the mound. When Ohtani exits, a pitcher would have to take his spot in the order.
Getting Ohtani to pitch would most likely require a rule change, and Angels Manager Joe Maddon is all for it.
“For me, I would open it up and let this happen,” said Maddon. “People will want to see this and people will need to see this. It’s good for baseball.”
I see both sides to this. On one end, the rules are the rules. On the other, every baseball fan would enjoy watching Ohtani go out there and do his thing as a two-way player.
Of course, it may not be in the best interest of the team to do it, but that’s situational. Rob Manfred would have to make a decision on this now to free up the possibility that this could get done if desired.