Angels to Give Shohei Ohtani First Start on Mound Sunday

Despite having a rocky spring when on the mound, Shohei Ohtani, the two-way phenom will make his debut there on Sunday for the Los Angeles Angels versus the Oakland Athletics said team manager Mike Scioscia on Tuesday night.

The debut of Ohtani will be for the finale of the season opening series of four-games the Angels have at Oakland. In the Angels rotation Ohtani follows Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs and Matt Shoemaker.

Scioscia said things could have been shuffled several different way, but the rotation as it is now make sense for where he and the team is at this time and adjustments will be made as the season moves along.

The Angels manager said he could put Ohtani into the lineup prior to Sunday, and that would most likely be as the team’s designated hitter.

Ohtani struggled as both a pitcher and hitter during spring training, which raised questions about whether or not he would start the season in the minors. In his two starts in the Cactus League, Ohtani’s ERA was 27.00, giving up nine hits as well as nine runs in only 2 2/3 innings.

While hitting, Ohtani had just 4 hits in 32 at bats, with three walks but 10 strikeouts.

In the final tune up by Ohtani, prior to the start of the regular season, versus hitters from the minor leagues on Saturday, he was off on his command of the fastball, which caused him to walk five, hit one batter and throw a pair of wild pitches.

There were certain things he worked on and that he is trying to get nailed down, said Scioscia following the game on Saturday. When in sync he has a hot fastball, but early on his control was erratic but he will do just fine, added the Angels’ manager.

Reporters asked Ohtani if he would have liked to face more hitters from the majors this spring after he came over during the offseason from Japan.

Of course, he answered, in a perfect world, but it is much more than just that. It is also about making adjustments with the ball and mound and several other things.

It did not matter much who he faced, said the pitcher, he was more concerned with working out and through his own stuff such as timing and mechanics.

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