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Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani's improved slider looks as terrifying as it gets in spring training

edesai
Mar 31, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Shohei Ohtani, LA Angels
Mar 31, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Shohei Ohtani, LA Angels / Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
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LA Angels' Ace Shohei Ohtani is most known for his deadly splitter, but his slider looks just as elite this spring as well. Against Milwaukee on Thursday (his second start on the mound in the spring), Ohtani shoved. He got the win and only gave up two hits in 3.1 innings. He had a highlight, however, that REALLY stole the show:

Nobody was expecting a 3-2 slider from Ohtani like that, but if he can paint it the way he did, there's nothing the hitter can do. Especially when Max Stassi can frame it perfectly and bring it back into the zone the way he always does.

It's going to be a long game for opposing batters if Ohtani has yet another pitch this nasty in his arsenal. Another angle of this pitch even further proves just how hard to even make any sort of contact on it truly was:

Nobody should be expected to hit Shohei Ohtani's slider if he's going to throw it like that for the LA Angels.

Put Mike Trout at the plate and even he is going to bat about .100 vs. that slider from Shohei Ohtani. It goes to show that Ohtani truly might even be better this season than 2021. That wouldn't even be fair but we clearly can't rule it out.

Last year, the Halo Ace started the All-Star Game on the bump (as well as at the plate as the DH) for the American League squad. He posted a 3.18 ERA last year while leading the team in starts and innings. He recorded a 1.090 WHIP and 141 ERA+.

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He already had an untouchable war chest of pitches to get batters out with--striking out 10.8 batters per nine innings. For him to now look potentially even more impressive has to strike fear into the Astros' hearts. He will be pitching against them on Opening Day to start.

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