Sport The Angels will use a six-man rotation to accommodate Shohei Ohtani

06:05  14 february  2018
06:05  14 february  2018 Source:   thecomeback.com

After sleepy winter, spring training arrives just in the nick of time

  After sleepy winter, spring training arrives just in the nick of time Baseball returns from its sleep-inducing offseason early next week with a wake-up jolt. Thirty major-league camps will open in Florida and Arizona for the start of spring training, vying for attention with a rogue camp in Bradenton, Fla.Financed by the players union in response to the owners' scarcity of interest in the current crop of free agents, the island of misfit millionaires adds another intriguing storyline to what looks to be a wild spring.Despite their best intentions, baseball's owners somehow find themselves in great shape heading into 2018.

- Shohei Ohtani , the surprise Los Angeles Angel , returned with much fanfare Monday to his native Japan. Eppler said the Angels will decide before spring training whether they will use a six - man rotation , an alignment unseen in the major leagues for many years but common in Japan's Nippon

- Shohei Ohtani , the surprise Los Angeles Angel , returned with much fanfare Monday to his native Japan. Eppler said the Angels will decide before spring training whether they will use a six - man rotation , an alignment unseen in the major leagues for many years but common in Japan's Nippon

a baseball player wearing a red hat: MLB: Los Angeles Angels-Press Conference© Provided by Comeback Media MLB: Los Angeles Angels-Press Conference

The Angels’ signing of 23-year-old two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani was a huge coup for the Los Angeles Angels, but it also came with some logistical hurdles. How often will Ohtani hit? Will he ever play the field? Will he be a full member of the starting rotation or a partial one? And how will his presence affect the team’s other pitchers?

Well on Tuesday, Angels manager Mike Scioscia offered a small amount of insight into how the team will handle Ohtani, saying the Angels will use a six-man rotation to accommodate their new star.

Though some back-in-the-day type people will surely gripe about ever-expanding rotations, this makes sense on numerous levels. In Japan, pitchers typically throw only once a week, and the transition to an every-five-days routine had doomed Japanese hurlers before. Given that Ohtani will also hit on some days when he’s not pitching, the 23-year-old might be particularly susceptible to overwork.

On a team with a dominant ace, a six-man rotation would come with a serious cost, preventing the top guy from pitching as often. But the Angels have no Clayton Kershaw or Corey Kluber. They’ve got a staff full of league-average pitchers the team can afford to pitch slightly less often — Garrett Richards, Matt Shoemaker, Tyler Skaggs and Andrew Heaney, among others. Besides, many members of that group are returning from injuries and could probably benefit from the lighter load themselves.

Angels won't push rookie Ohtani to be the face of the team

  Angels won't push rookie Ohtani to be the face of the team It has been 29 years since the Angels were the center of the baseball world during spring training. It has been 29 years since the Angels were the center of the baseball world during spring training. Mike Trout gets attention every spring. Mo Vaughn, Vladimir Guerrero, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton got their share of attention when they signed with the Angels.

:: Shohei Ohtani coverage :: "If we, in fact, go that route, I will have conversations with them," Eppler said Monday during Day 1 of MLB's Winter Meetings. A six - man rotation would be an attractive option for the Angels for a few reasons.

Shohei Ohtani (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press). Indications are the Angels will use something resembling a six - man rotation to begin next season, a marked departure from orthodoxy and something that general manager Billy Eppler framed Tuesday as a sort of moral imperative.

Scioscia also addressed the question of how much opportunity Ohtani will get at the plate… sort of Via ESPN:

“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.”

Clearly the Angels still have a lot of unresolved questions about Ohtani. But when it comes to their 23-year-old phenom with a wider skillset than any Major League in the past century, these are good problems to have.

The post The Angels will use a six-man rotation to accommodate Shohei Ohtani appeared first on The Comeback.

Opinion: 5 rookies to keep a close eye on during spring training .
With pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training earlier this week, full squad workouts for all 30 MLB clubs are just one day away.  With pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training earlier this week, full squad workouts for all 30 MLB clubs are just one day away.

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