Los Angeles also made a few other calls on players in time for its Opening Day roster. Reliever Felix Pena was optioned, leaving Rule 5 pick Luke Bard and Noe Ramirez to make the club, while veteran first baseman/DH Chris Carter was informed he will not be on the active roster to open the year.
The 23-year-old Ohtani, Japan’s biggest superstar, came into camp seen as something of a savior for the Halos. But he ended the spring facing questions as to whether he ought to begin the year in the majors.
While Ohtani showed the tools on the mound that generated so much hype, the results were mixed. Indeed, he only took the ball twice in Cactus League action, spending most of his time on the hill in minor-league games. Ohtani did see 32 plate appearances as he seeks to adjust to MLB pitching, but managed only three hits.
Nevertheless, the Angels will allow Ohtani to test his talent at the game’s highest level. That, obviously, was the plan when they wooed him to L.A., beating out more or less every other MLB team in pursuit of a player who most viewed as the best in the world outside of North America. Of course, if things don’t work out from the get-go, it’s always possible that Ohtani could end up being optioned at some point.
The move will potentially cost the team the 27-year-old Perez, who is out of options. He had been a significant contributor in 2015 and 2016, but a slide at the plate in the latter of those two yeas let him on the outside looking in last season. Perez ended up appearing in just 11 games in the 2017 season, though he did impress (.352/.423/.502 with 32 walks against 38 strikeouts) in his 300 Triple-A plate appearances. While the bat still seems rather intriguing, Perez’s defensive work has been the subject of some critique from the Angels organization.