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Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani literally changes the game with new reported 'Shohei Ohtani rule'

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Mar 22, 2022; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Shohei Ohtani, LA Angels
Mar 22, 2022; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Shohei Ohtani, LA Angels / Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
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Shohei Ohtani made history seemingly every night last year for the LA Angels. He had the greatest season in sports history. It was GREAT for the game to see a two-way player excel the way he did last year. The league knows it, and has reportedly settled with the players on a 'Shohei Ohtani rule' that will enable pitchers to stay in the game and hit as the DH after they step off of the mound.

This is major news for the Angels, as it will affect them more than anyone. Ohtani now does not have to play in the outfield to keep his bat in the game after he steps off of the mound. He can simply hit without the extra stress on his body of having to go out and play defense.

This is going to be crucial, as Ohtani likely needed to find a way to decrease his workload if he wants to be able to start every sixth day this year. Drastic changes were not needed, however, as Ohtani only missed one start due to fatigue last season. Therefore, this situation is perfect. In the games where he'll stay in to hit, he will no longer need to exert more energy on playing both sides.

The Angels now have a perfect happy medium of being able to utilize Shohei Ohtani more, but not break his body down.

This rule is coming in at a perfect time for the LA Angels, as they just figured out how to manage Shohei Ohtani's workload in 2021. Joe Maddon did a masterful job managing what was a tough task in figuring out how exactly he wanted to use Ohtani to get the best out of him without fatiguing him.

Now, Maddon's job is even easier. Managing fatigue is going to be much easier as two-way players have a more convenient path to staying in games. The Halos will now also be able to keep Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh in games more often than they potentially would have, which is important. Their development needs to be focused on this upcoming season. Ohtani now doesn't need to take someone's spot to stay in games, and can just continue as the DH.

Also, another Angels starting pitcher in the rotation is a two-way player in Michael Lorenzen. He's a better defensive player in the outfield than he is offensively, so this rule may actually not be all too beneficial for him, but if he improves on offense next year and the Halos want him to hit, he'll be able to continue hitting when he's done on the mound.

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Finally, Rob Manfred does something that benefits the Angels. It wasn't very long ago when Manfred wouldn't let the Halos hire Adam Eaton as a coach during the lockout but let the Astros sign Justin Verlander during the lockout. Finally, the league gives us a break for once. It was a rule that should have been in place from the start anyway.

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