Since signing with the Los Angeles Angels of the American League, two-way player Shohei Ohtani has served as designated hitter on days when he was not scheduled to pitch. On Sunday, Angels manager Joe Maddon slotted Ohtani into the leadoff spot to bat for himself in a Cactus League start against the San Diego Padres at Peoria Stadium in Peoria, Arizona.
Ohtani led off the game with a single but did not come in to score. He would hit 2-2 with one walk, no runs scored and no RBI.
Ohtani, who has pitched just 1.2 MLB innings since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2018, has been able to touch 100 mph on his fastball during Cactus League outings and has four home runs this spring. His most impressive strikeout on Sunday came with the bases loaded in the 3rd inning, catching Jurickson Profar looking to end the Padres threat.
Could a healthy Ohtani potentially mount a threat to teammate Mike Trout‘s perennial ownership of the American League MVP trophy in 2021? This will be an intriguing story to watch in the upcoming season.
Featured Image: Anaheim, CA. Oct. 29, 2016. The main entrance of Angel Stadium, a major league baseball team in Anaheim, CA by Usa-Pyon / Shutterstock.com.