Shohei Ohtani Set to Resume Dual Role With Angels in 2020

Baseball's top two-way player will go back to hitting and pitching for Los Angeles

Shohei Ohtani Set to Resume Dual Role With Angels in 2020
Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels during spring training in 2020. (Masterpress/Getty)
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By Evan Bleier / July 1, 2020 2:28 pm

After undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2018, Major League Baseball’s top two-way player will resume toeing the rubber as well as stepping up to the plate for the Los Angeles Angels.

LA general manager Billy Eppler confirmed earlier this week that Japanese star Shohei Ohtani will resume his role as a dual-threat for the Angels when baseball returns.

Ohtani, who only served as a designated hitter in 2019 as he worked his way back from the surgery, will pitch and hit in the majors this season.

“We’ll probably have a little bit more of a governor on him, at least at the outset,” Eppler said. “He’s had a number of live [throwing sessions against hitters], but we want to up that intensity a little bit more and put him into a game situation. Just watching how he responds on a day-to-day basis will help guide us to how much we can push down on the gas pedal on him. We’re expecting him to be on the mound and stay on the mound and roll through spring training.”

The Angels may choose to go with a six-man rotation for the shortened 60-game season so it’s possible the 25-year-old will only start about 10 games, possibly a few more if Los Angeles makes the postseason.

In 10 starts during his rookie season, Ohtani went 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA and racked up 63 strikeouts in 51 and 2/3 innings. Last season as a hitter, he batted .286 with 18 homers and 62 RBIs and an .848 OPS in 106 games, nearly identical to what he hit in 2018 on his way to being named AL Rookie of the Year.

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