The Angels have selected the contract of pitcher/DH Shohei Ohtani, per a club announcement. To create a 40-man spot, the organization designated catcher Carlos Perez for assignment.
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.
Why ohtani clearly needs some minor league time
I’m guessing part of the “deal” that convinced him to pick Angels, had something to do with an unwritten promise to not place him in minors.
You’re probably right
Ohtani is ranked #1 by Fangraphs and MLB.com
#2 by Baseball America
But outside Baseball Prospectus’ 2018 top-101
Why does Baseball Prospectus blackball Ohtani?
Ohtani Ranking from BA, BP, Fangraphs, and MLB.com’s 2018 Prospect Lists:
2018 MLB.com top 100: http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2018/
2018 Fangraphs top 100: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2018-top-100-prospects/
2018 Baseball America: Subscription required
(So here’s their top 10 Free) https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/braves-ronald-acuna-claims-top-spot-on-baseball-americas-top-100-prospects-list/
2018 Baseball Prospectus: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/article/37535/baseball-prospectus-top-101-prospects-2018-top-mlb-prospects-ronald-acuna-victor-robles-vladimir-guerrero-jr-eloy-jimenez/
Waste of a roster spot just for a gimmick player. smh.
It’s the Angels, what do you expect
But if it was the Yankees, like all the other teams in MLB wanted, falling over their tongues over him, you wouldn’t say that.
100% concur SFgiantsUK. This is one of the weaker organizations in the game. But don’t tell Angel fan that… because they have Mike Trout. Past few years 20 games out and below .500 Mike Trout. I’ll take a winning team you clowns, you can have your Mike Trout.
Plus the cost of an interpreter. HAHAHAHA
Gimmick player? You are an idiot.
Really think it’s funny so far he is
It’s only been one spring training
You’re right, anyone who has the slightest amount of doubt that Ohtani will be a wildly successful, ground-breaking two way player in Major League Baseball is an idiot.
“gimmick player” might just be one of the dumbest things i’ve ever heard
He needs time in the minors. Tanaka and Darvish did well in their spring training debut. Idk about this guy.
My thing with him is he will never put full time into one of his skills (hitting or pitching) as he is trying to do both. Imo he will have to choose one or the other at some point as mlb is a different monster from japan
Yep. Angel’s should keep him as a SP cuz their rotation is garbage.
Doesn’t matter he’ll be traded at the 2022 deadline when they can’t afford him. Think trout might be a free agent that year too. He will likely leave a as well. Trout will go down as one of the greatest players of all time that never won a championship. Allen Iverson, jim thome, Frank Thomas, Roy Halladay. Ted Williams.
Idk man…I saw a lot of swings and misses from batters. ST isn’t about going out an pitching a perfect game, it about working on pitches and location and knowing it’s okay to get knocked around a little bit. There was some positive stuff. That he has minor-league options is important because if he gets rocked consistently they can send him down. The guy he takes the roster spot from isn’t a key piece of this team. They signed him with the intention of having him in the bigs on opening day and that hasn’t changed. I’m looking forward to seeing him
I’ve seen guys who can throw 88 with a tailwind and only ever got a September Gallup or two in their entire careers miss bats in ST. I really want him to succeed but I’m going to wait until he does before I wet myself over him.
This is the thing that 99% of commenters on this site for some reason can’t understand. I don’t even think he’ll do well, but you literally can’t base ST performance off of anything. Obviously saying he shouldn’t be playing the in the MLB to start the season is a matter of opinion, otherwise the Angels wouldn’t be doing it.
What are Anaheim fans impressions of him so far ? I know it’s only spring but he’s facing mlb competition full time now. I’ve only seen him 2 times this spring
I think it’s ridiculous he’s starting the season in the majors. He clearly needs practice and some time to build confidence. I’d much rather see him build confidence in the minors than lose it in the majors. Most of the Angels fans I know (including me) see the talent but recognize it needs some development. And I’m surprised it’s happening,but then not really surprised. I’m gonna be P.O.’d though if we’re throwing away wins just to put on this “SHO”.
His last outing of ST was horrible,and to make matters worse it was against low minor leaguers.
The red carpet treatment (literally) imo was a bad idea and they are throwing him straight into the fire. Tanaka and darvish were much more seasoned and trey didn’t even get it when they arrived. The instant pressure on ohtani was insane
Good thing he didn’t go to Philly,Boston,or New York,cause the media would be crucifying him…
Oh good lord Jesus the sharks would be spiraling around him if he was here in ny or the other places you listed
He hasn’t pitched enough for numbers to mean anything. His stuff looks really good as long as he stays confident in it. As soon as he loses confidence is when he starts giving up hits and the crazy movement on his pitches deteriorates. Hitting wise, I dunno, it’s been 30 ABs.
Dumb move, he needs to go to the minors. All this just to sell tickets
They need him to be ready and I don’t believe he is just yet. This could hurt them unless they really think he is gonna learn and get better at the ML level. I don’t see it but maybe the Angel’s do.
How long do you let him DH if he is terrible?
J. C. Hahne
Knowing Scoiscia, til September when games actually count.
The games count in March-April too! How many pennants or wild cards have been won by 1 game? A bunch!
Not the move of a club determined to winning.
He should have at least started the year in Salt Lake, or even Mobile if they wanted more pitcher friendly conditions for him. Let him get accustomed to the US game where he won’t be costing the big-club wins. Jumping right into the deep end won’t be good for him or the team.
He wasnt even facing ML quality guys and no one had a true scouting report on him yet; still the results were that bad …imagine how horrific they could be during this ill-advised experiment. How do they feel that would be helpful to anyone?
Doesn’t seem like a smart move
Certainly not for a club with Wild Card aspirations. Houston will lap the field out west, sure, but the WC fight will be tight.
Calm down everyone.
Please remember that he is the “Babe Ruth of Japan”.
Babe Ruth was a really really good player.
I was, and still am, jealous of the Angels for getting Ohtani over my Rangers. It was a huge win for Anaheim. With that being said, Ohtani has a couple of asterisk’s from his performance in Japan. The most glaring of which is that pitchers do not pitch inside to other pitchers in Japan. This is out of respect, that stems from their culture. So his oversee career has seen him getting pitches in his sweet spot. Because of this, I don’t see him hitting at the MLB level.
In terms of pitching, he had a lot working against this spring. New culture, different size baseballs, etc… From my limited vantage point, Ohtani seemed to be putting a greater emphasis on fitting in with his new team members than anything else. Not at all an excuse for his poor performance. Rather just a callout on what I observed his priority to be. Long term, I think this will pay dividends for the Angels.
Josh Hamilton was a big win too.
2 yeas ?
This is far from the Mets signing of Tebow,but any prospect that performed like that on any other team would go down fast. This hitting experiment with him forces Pujols to play a lot of first and he won’t hold up physically…
I’m wondering about this Perez guy of the Angels, I really kinda wish we got him in the trade of catchers with the Brewers instead of Jett Bandy ugh!!!!
Well, the Brewers now have a chance to claim him and designate Bandy. So your dreams may still come true.
J. C. Hahne
Actually Ohtani had 4 hits. doesn’t change much but, anything helps at this point.
He hit way below the Mendoza line,in fact his stats were similar to Tebow…OMFG
Ok, so he made the Opening Day roster. Now we’ll have to see how long he sticks on the roster before they send him down to find himself in the minors. I’m still convinced he has a wealth of talent, but to expect him to hit the ground running in the majors is unrealistic. Ohtani will likely be overwhelmed in the coming weeks, but we shall see.
This is like something the Mets would do. Problem is, when this guy struggles and you’re months into the season and have to demote him, it’s only going to put the spotlight more on him and the pressure will increase. They could’ve easily and quietly placed him in “extended” spring training for more work and then make a decision on him. He probably has one of the worst numbers in Spring Training to make the Opening Day roster in recent history.
I agree but there’s no easy and quiet way to demote Ohtani. Easier and quieter maybe but you call the guy the babe Ruth of Japan and discretion goes right out the window.
Not only does it seem he needs more seasoning in the Minors – this also starts his service clock… they should have waiting it out a few weeks or till June at least.
I predict that eventually the Angels will invent some type of fabricated injury to give Ohtani and the organization cover so they can send him down to the minors to “rehab.”
Free Clay Zavada
After spending all the time and effort to appease the player to choose their team and their city over all the others, they’re going to do something blatantly deceptive to keep Ohtani from making the major league team? Somehow I don’t find that likely.
The Nats need to jump on Perez. Their options behind are the plate are bad and worst. I’ve always rooted for Wieters but all he does is tag well and hit some clutch homers. He’s slow, has a long swing, and not a great framer. He should be a backup at this stage in career.
I am pretty sure ichiro had a bad first spring training and was talked about not having the adequate tools to transition to MLB and look what he did in his career
You know your right it did happen like that good point
But Ichiro also ONLY had to learn to hit MLB pitching. And he was fantastic. As seen with Eric Thames, hitting skills can be transferred from Japan to MLB, but to try to hit and pitch at an MLB level while adjusting to a new culture thousands of miles from your homeland seems impossible
We’ll see about Eric Thames. He wasn’t a stud in the second half. He learned plate discipline, the power was always there. 170/254/302 in spring training also. It’s just ST but that’s not promising. He may very well be a guy who is figured out.
In all honesty I think the Brewers need to scrap the Thames idea or send him to the minors to figure more out because other then about 45 days he hasn’t hit much.
Ohtani needs to go to the Minors first. I think that the hype surrounding him before signing was absurd. I am a Cubs fan and watched as the College Player of the Year became the Minor League Player of the Year before he got his chance to come to the Cubs. Kris Bryant had to prove himself first, at the same age as Ohtani and after playing American baseball all his life. Ohtani still has to adjust to American baseball. I wish the Angels and Ohtani luck but I gotta think keeping him in a position to fail is a big mistake for a talented young player.
Free Clay Zavada
Ohtani has been playing professional baseball for years. Equating the highest level of Japanese professional baseball to US college baseball is absurd, honestly.
Free Clay. I’m not hating and do wish him luck. But crazy mountain is 100% correct. There is a big difference in playing college ball, and in Japan than MLB baseball. 200% big difference.
Big difference. I don’t care how good you are. This is not Japan. Whole nother level. I’ve seen many many great Japan players fail. Not that he will fail. But he hasn’t faced real MLB pitching in Japan. It’s same thing as being the best basketball player in Europe then coming to play in the NBA. I’m willing to bet he won’t Bat over 230 this year and his ERA is around 3.50-4.25 after teams figure his pitching out. Is it worth his salary. Right now it is but anyone with Ruth visions on him hitting and Nolan Ryan visions on him pitching is up for dissapoint. Just speaking reality not hating.
Yall are some salty haters lol. Spring training means nothing and he is 23…even uber prospects like trout struggled in the begining. As aaron rodgers said “you need to relaaaaax” in a year or two if he still is getting rocked then crucify him until them pipe down.
Why? The man wants to hit in the major leagues and he just went 4-32 with 4 singles. If he wants To be a two way player he needs to prove he can be a two way player. He hasn’t proven anything. How are you going to put Ohtani in to DH right now? He hasn’t earned that for sure.
What don’t you understand about “stats don’t mean anything in Spring Training?”
Seriously, how oblivious can you be?
Like okay, do this – take any Top-Prospect who hasn’t played above AA that had a straight pitiful Spring, where he looked dramatically outclassed …would you similarly be screaming for them to make opening day starting lineup on a club expecting to compete?
Because that’s the situation we are in – he hasn’t really played above AA comparable competition and looked pitiful on both sides of the field in spring – yet will both be the DH and in the Rotation
Add in his needing to get used to a new US style of game, new country/area to live and new language and, well…
That’s not to say he will definitely fail, but putting him straight into such an extreme pressure situation already dramatically increases the likelihood he fails completely
Give it some time. ST is “fine tuning” and “adjustments”. Let’s see how the first 60 days go, and evaluate.
That’s what I was going to say. So many couch scouts just regurgitating what they heard from legit scouts. The same scouts that have him as the #1 prospect in MLB.
Having someone as the #1 prospect does not mean you necessarily think they are read for MLB…
Dudes going to get lit up
Free Clay Zavada
1. As alluded to by another commenter, there almost definitely was an unwritten agreement that Ohtani would start the season in the majors. The Angels would absolutely have been willing to promise him this to win his favor.
2. It’s spring training, don’t freak out. Ok, so maybe he can’t hit and hurts the DH position a good bit, that’s fair. But for the pitching aspect, what’s the risk? Who’s the pitcher on the Angels that you’d replace him with?
I would have replace him with Parker Bridwell until Ohtani was fine tuned at AAA and then address the staff issues.
1-2 months of welcome to the Majors and he be sent back to the minors for welcome back to earth.
The big thing for all NPB guys is, can they adjust? Not just initially, but in an ongoing manner throughout their careers. We’ll see. It’s a definite jump in the level of competition and I think history has shown us that we should wait for the results first.
I hope he succeeds if not as a two way guy, at least at whichever he ends up being better at.
It’s time for Ohtani to Shohei belongs!
He’s young and talented Ohtani but there is other factors needing considering. I think it would be best to have international players play a year in the minors so they can adjust culturally to North America outside the spotlight. I think that is the biggest mistake clubs make with these guys, not everyone in Japan can handle it like Matsui or Ichiro did.