Come Monday, we will finally find out whether Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani will come over to MLB this offseason. The Nippon Ham Fighters want to post him, but MLB and NPB are in the middle of a posting dispute with the MLBPA. The MLBPA set a Monday deal to resolve things, otherwise Ohtani is heading back to Japan for the 2018 season. Ohtani, 23, is arguably the best hitter and pitcher in Japan, and it has long been speculated he will want to do both in MLB. Now we have confirmation. Nez Balelo, Ohtani's agent, recently confirmed Ohtani wants the opportunity both hit and pitch whenever he comes over to the big leagues. Ankle and quad problems hampered Ohtani most of this season, limiting him to only 231 plate appearances (.332/.403/.540) and 25 1/3 innings (3.20 ERA). In 2016, a fully healthy season, Ohtani hit .322/.416/.588 with 22 homers and threw 140 innings with a 1.86 ERA and 174 strikeouts. That earned him Pacific League MVP honors. Teams in Japan do not use the same five-day rotation schedule as MLB teams. Starters pitch once a week in Japan. Ohtani's usual schedule was start Sunday, rest Monday, DH on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, then rest Friday and Saturday before his start on Sunday. Whichever teams signs him will have to figure out a schedule that works and makes sure Ohtani gets enough rest between starts.
Agent confirms Shohei Ohtani wants to pitch and hit in MLB
CBS Sports | Nov 18