Los Angeles Angels two-way champion Shohei Ohtani will throw his first Major League Baseball match-up since 2018 next Sunday against Oakland and plans on making regular Sunday begins all season.
The 26-year-old Japanese right-hander, who likewise serves as an assigned hitter for the Angels, served distinctly as a player for the club in 2019 after “Tommy John” ligament substitution surgery.
“Obviously, I’m very excited to be back on the mound. It has been almost two years,” Ohtani said through a translator in a posting on the league website.
The Angels are set to open the coronavirus deferred and abbreviated MLB season Friday at Oakland with Ohtani batting before making his mound return in the third game of the series.
“I want to be prepared to be in the lineup on Opening Day as a hitter and then hopefully we can win the first two games and get some momentum into the third game, which I think I’m going to start,” he said.
Ohtani was the 2018 American League Rookie of the Year subsequent to batting .285 with 22 home runs, 10 stolen bases and 61 runs batted in addition to a 4-2 record in 10 pitching begins with a 3.31 earned-run average and 63 strikeouts.
Babe Ruth, a legend from a century prior, was the only other player who oversaw 10 contributing appearances and 20 homers a MLB season.
Ohtani pitched his last pre-season tuneup Sunday in an intra-squad game, permitting one run more than five innings with six strikeouts and four walks.
The Angels plan for using Ohtani is like 2018, when he threw on Sundays and took days off days Saturday and Monday. It enables that the Angels to have three Mondays off during the season.
Excepting injury, the schedule would set up Ohtani for 10 beginnings this season and 33 appearances as an assigned hitter in 60 Angels games.
“It looks like going on Sundays is the best option,” Ohtani said. “We have the most off-days on Monday. I’m not going to hit the following day so it gives me a chance to rest up.”