Shohei Ohtani is quickly discovering how his every move at Los Angeles Angels' camp will be scrutinized this spring. About 50 Japanese media members gathered at the entrance of the player parking lot at Tempe Diablo Stadium for his arrival Tuesday. Later on, in the clubhouse, a wall of reporters looked on intently as he sifted through a box of belongings at his locker and tried on his batting practice uniform for the first time. Over the coming days and weeks, Ohtani will get a better read on how his teammates will try to ease his transition and his new club will accommodate his quest to blaze a trail as a two-way player in the majors. Angels manager Mike Scioscia provided some insights into the nuts and bolts of the team's plans for Ohtani in conjunction with the reporting date for pitchers and catchers. Scioscia confirmed that Ohtani will be part of a six-man starting rotation in Anaheim, and his exposure as a designated hitter will be based in part on the workload he's prepared to handle. The Angels regard Ohtani as a pitcher first, and they'll work off that assumption in assessing his offensive role. "He's going to get the most looks as a pitcher,'' Scioscia said. "If he can pitch to his capabilities, that will always influence your team more than what he would do hitting. But that's not to say he won't have a chance to be a difference maker on the offensive end, too. "There's a certain novelty to it. You've had Madison Bumgarner swing the bat with the Giants, but not like we're trying to implement with Shohei. I don't think it's going to be that big of an issue. We need him to pitch. He's a big part of our rotation. Secondary to that, when he has an opportunity to swing the bat, we definitely want to take a look at him.'' Ohtani, 23, arrives in the U.S. with massive expectations stemming from his moniker as "Japan's Babe Ruth.'' He routinely surpassed 100 mph on the radar gun as a pitcher and displayed his power by launching 22 homers and slugging .588 for the Nippon Ham Fighters at age 21.
Shohei Ohtani's main impact will come as a pitcher, Mike Scioscia says
ESPN | Feb 13