Being the best hitter in baseball while also being one of the better arms in the entire game has been so great for the game of baseball.
Brian Kenny of MLB Network, though, for some reason thinks that Ohtani pitching is going to hurt his hitting, or something like that. I don’t really understand any of what he’s saying, so I’m just as confused as you. Here’s the clip, though:
Joel Sherman absolutely tore Kenny to pieces live on the show, and I loved every bit of it.
If it ain’t broke, Shohei Ohtani and the LA Angels should not fix it.
It’s safe to say that the best player of the Major Leagues this year has been Shohei Ohtani of our LA Angels.
As the guys over at MLB Network explained, he’s the best hitter in the game, and a top 15-20 pitcher.
Kenny’s argument suggests that he’s seeing signs that show that Ohtani is getting ready to decline in one of the areas of his game. He cited him limping around third base.
Guess what? It’s an 162-game season. Guys are going to “limp” around third base here and there, regardless of if the player is pitching as well as hitting.
He literally leads the team in stolen bases by eight bags at 12 steals. His legs are fine.
His other citation was him pitching at a lower velocity. That one makes my eyes roll in particular because I thought we had already been through this.
If Ohtani’s velocity going down isn’t affecting his production, which it isn’t, then there’s no reason to give it any attention.
Ohtani is 4-1 on the year, with a 3.49 ERA.
He has a 1.209 WHIP and despite striking out only four batters in his last outing, he still posts a solid 11.7 K/9 rate. He doesn’t give up the longball, either, surrendering just 0.8 home runs per nine innings.
He is the best pitcher on the Angels by a wide margin. The Angels would be pretty stupid to break that up and have him stop pitching all of the sudden. It wouldn’t make sense.
And that pitching isn’t hurting his hitting at all. He has been the best hitter in baseball. As of Tuesday, Ohtani leads the league in home runs (31) and slugging percentage (.692).
He’s only three RBI back from the MLB RBI lead (he’s at 68), and would absolutely be in the lead if he didn’t have to bat in the second hole for the Angels.
He’s getting on 36.2% of the time, which is solid, and he’s hitting .278.
The Angels just need to continue to do what they’re doing, as it’s the number one reason they are still alive at this point in the season. His versatility has absolutely enhanced who he is as a player, and will continue to.