Shohei Ohtani of the Angels had a smooth first outing with hours of feed
Shohei Otani Before spring training, he knew one of his biggest problems would be pitching hours.
Angels The two-way star made his first appearance as a pitcher in Tuesday’s spring game. He threw in 2 1/3 scoreless innings against the Oakland Athletics, striking out two and passing two without breaking clocks in his 34 innings.
This spring, Otani started working with the PitchCom device to call his own games. This saves time on the number of signals he gives the catcher to get to the field he wants to throw.
Whether he could pitch within the allotted time—15 seconds between pitches on empty bases, 20 seconds with runners on base, and 30 seconds between batters—no one on the team cared.
What kind of manager Phil Nevin did consider how the time limit would affect Otani’s intimidation factor against batters.
“When you’re standing in a box and Nolan Ryan is pacing the embankment,” Nevin said, “you’re like, ‘Oh shit, what is he going to do next to me,’ right? I think Shohei has that kind of presence in him.
“The faster these guys work and the more the striker can be in the box and feel comfortable, it can make a difference because he has an intimidating look and the way he moves up the hill. He still has it, it won’t take it away, but it will change a bit, and the way he does it.”
Otani, after his first experience with the watch, admitted that he was going to keep trying to fit in with it.
“I couldn’t tell for sure if I was intimidating hitters or not, so it’s not really a problem,” Otani said through translator Ippei Mizuharu. “As for the hours on the field, they are the same for everyone. Everyone needs to tune in.
“So far so good, but I feel like I’m in a bit of a rush. As long as I keep getting games for my belt, I have to be good.”