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OC Register: This is when you will see Shohei Ohtani pitch and hit in the same game


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ANAHEIM – Shohei Ohtani the pitcher lowered his earned-run average to 3.58 on Sunday. He allowed only one run over 6 1/3 innings against the Minnesota Twins, but didn’t factor into the decision.

If only he had Shohei Ohtani the hitter to provide run support. Ohtani is batting .348 with five home runs in 20 games (17 starts) as the Angels’ designated hitter.

So far, the Angels’ decision-makers have been content to let Ohtani bat four days a week, resting him entirely the day before and after he pitches. On the days he does pitch, there has been no talk of sacrificing the designated hitter and letting Ohtani bat for himself.

Until Sunday.

“We have considered that scenario,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Obviously you’d like him to hit in your lineup, but not to have a DH in your lineup really gives you a tactical disadvantage. If he got a blister in the second inning, or if his pitch count got up and he was done after five innings, right now our bench isn’t deep enough to be able to play a National League game.”

If an American League team allows the pitcher to bat for himself, by rule there can be no designated hitter for the remainder of the game. The Angels currently have 12 position players on their active roster, not including Ohtani. If Ohtani batted for himself, Scioscia would have only four position players to choose from to bat for the pitcher. That might not change between now and Aug. 31.

On Sept. 1, teams are allowed to expand their active rosters from 25 to 40. The Angels could add to their bench without subtracting someone from their active pitching staff.

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So, Scioscia said, letting Ohtani bat for himself “is something we might consider in September if it was something that was really critical and we needed his bat in our lineup.”

The manager also left open the possibility that Ohtani could bat in a National League park, but the Angels have just five interleague games remaining on the road: July 13-15 at Dodger Stadium and Aug. 21-22 at Chase Field in Phoenix. Ohtani didn’t start either Tuesday or Wednesday at Coors Field in Denver.

TROUT OUT

May 13 was circled on the calendar as a day off for Mike Trout, and the Angels’ center fielder knew it when he arrived at the ballpark.

It so happens that May 13 this year is Mother’s Day. Trout is batting .318 with three walks, a home run, two runs, three RBI, and a stolen base in his career on Mother’s Day. It was also a Sunday, Ohtani’s day to pitch, so the Angels removed another middle-of-the-lineup regular and put him on the mound.

Trout had started every game this season. He had played all but two innings in the field in May. Trout’s day off had nothing to do with a slide into third base Saturday night, Scioscia said, and everything to do with sticking to a plan.

“When a guy needs a day off you have to give it to him,” Scioscia said. “Certainly the health of not only Mike but all our players is paramount. We just don’t have that much depth that we absorb losing guys for extended periods of time. There are days that when Shohei’s not going to swing the bat that some other guys have the day off and you’re not going to have the lineup as deep as you could, but it’s something that needs to be done.”

Trout entered the game as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning.

CALHOUN BATS SECOND

With Trout out, Scioscia penciled in a surprising name in the No. 2 spot in his lineup: Kole Calhoun

Calhoun hadn’t batted higher than eighth since April, and not for no reason. He entered the game with a .143 batting average this month (4 for 28) and just two walks, but Scioscia said that Calhoun’s at-bats have recently improved.

“I remember talking to Joe Maddon about this a long time ago, Mickey (Hatcher): sometimes when a guy’s struggling, move him up in the lineup just see if he can’t shake the tree a little bit,” Scioscia said.

Calhoun went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.

ALSO

Matt Shoemaker will meet with a nerve specialist in Missouri on Tuesday, Scioscia said. The pitcher’s throwing program was shut down in light of the results of an electromyogram on his right forearm Monday. … Scioscia called on right-hander Keynan Middleton to pitch the eighth inning, when the Twins sent two left-handed hitters and a switch hitter to the plate. The one left-hander in the Angels’ bullpen, Jose Alvarez, was not available except as a “last resort,” Scioscia said. … Alvarez hasn’t pitched since a 22-pitch appearance Thursday and is not injured, but Scioscia said “there’s a fatigue factor involved.”

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10 hours ago, AngelsWin.com said:

ANAHEIM – Shohei Ohtani the pitcher lowered his earned-run average to 3.58 on Sunday. He allowed only one run over 6 1/3 innings against the Minnesota Twins, but didn’t factor into the decision.

If only he had Shohei Ohtani the hitter to provide run support. Ohtani is batting .348 with five home runs in 20 games (17 starts) as the Angels’ designated hitter.

So far, the Angels’ decision-makers have been content to let Ohtani bat four days a week, resting him entirely the day before and after he pitches. On the days he does pitch, there has been no talk of sacrificing the designated hitter and letting Ohtani bat for himself.

Until Sunday.

“We have considered that scenario,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Obviously you’d like him to hit in your lineup, but not to have a DH in your lineup really gives you a tactical disadvantage. If he got a blister in the second inning, or if his pitch count got up and he was done after five innings, right now our bench isn’t deep enough to be able to play a National League game.”

If an American League team allows the pitcher to bat for himself, by rule there can be no designated hitter for the remainder of the game. The Angels currently have 12 position players on their active roster, not including Ohtani. If Ohtani batted for himself, Scioscia would have only four position players to choose from to bat for the pitcher. That might not change between now and Aug. 31.

On Sept. 1, teams are allowed to expand their active rosters from 25 to 40. The Angels could add to their bench without subtracting someone from their active pitching staff.

Sign up for Home Turf and get 3 exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.

So, Scioscia said, letting Ohtani bat for himself “is something we might consider in September if it was something that was really critical and we needed his bat in our lineup.”

The manager also left open the possibility that Ohtani could bat in a National League park, but the Angels have just five interleague games remaining on the road: July 13-15 at Dodger Stadium and Aug. 21-22 at Chase Field in Phoenix. Ohtani didn’t start either Tuesday or Wednesday at Coors Field in Denver.

TROUT OUT

May 13 was circled on the calendar as a day off for Mike Trout, and the Angels’ center fielder knew it when he arrived at the ballpark.

It so happens that May 13 this year is Mother’s Day. Trout is batting .318 with three walks, a home run, two runs, three RBI, and a stolen base in his career on Mother’s Day. It was also a Sunday, Ohtani’s day to pitch, so the Angels removed another middle-of-the-lineup regular and put him on the mound.

Trout had started every game this season. He had played all but two innings in the field in May. Trout’s day off had nothing to do with a slide into third base Saturday night, Scioscia said, and everything to do with sticking to a plan.

“When a guy needs a day off you have to give it to him,” Scioscia said. “Certainly the health of not only Mike but all our players is paramount. We just don’t have that much depth that we absorb losing guys for extended periods of time. There are days that when Shohei’s not going to swing the bat that some other guys have the day off and you’re not going to have the lineup as deep as you could, but it’s something that needs to be done.”

Trout entered the game as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning.

CALHOUN BATS SECOND

With Trout out, Scioscia penciled in a surprising name in the No. 2 spot in his lineup: Kole Calhoun

Calhoun hadn’t batted higher than eighth since April, and not for no reason. He entered the game with a .143 batting average this month (4 for 28) and just two walks, but Scioscia said that Calhoun’s at-bats have recently improved.

 

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“I remember talking to Joe Maddon about this a long time ago, Mickey (Hatcher): sometimes when a guy’s struggling, move him up in the lineup just see if he can’t shake the tree a little bit,” Scioscia said.

 

Calhoun went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.

ALSO

Matt Shoemaker will meet with a nerve specialist in Missouri on Tuesday, Scioscia said. The pitcher’s throwing program was shut down in light of the results of an electromyogram on his right forearm Monday. … Scioscia called on right-hander Keynan Middleton to pitch the eighth inning, when the Twins sent two left-handed hitters and a switch hitter to the plate. The one left-hander in the Angels’ bullpen, Jose Alvarez, was not available except as a “last resort,” Scioscia said. … Alvarez hasn’t pitched since a 22-pitch appearance Thursday and is not injured, but Scioscia said “there’s a fatigue factor involved.”

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If you need to give Alvarez 3 days off, just DL him and bring someone up. We are already one reliever short because of our 6 man rotation.  Holding Alvarez for three days left us with two short and we had to try Anderson for a six out save on Friday and Noe for 3 innings on Saturday leaving us with two losses.

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Nice work!

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“We have considered that scenario,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Obviously you’d like him to hit in your lineup, but not to have a DH in your lineup really gives you a tactical disadvantage. If he got a blister in the second inning, or if his pitch count got up and he was done after five innings, right now our bench isn’t deep enough to be able to play a National League game.”

I mentioned that when we played against COL. I know that him coming back to pitch on Sundays prevented him from pitching then, but it would be a tremendous boost in the arm to have him on the mound and in the lineup in the same game.

@Lou mentioned that teams might throw at him to get him off the mound, but I want to believe that sportsmanship would prevent teams from actually doing this.

Good point by Sosh though. Interesting to thing about either way. 

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12 minutes ago, TM3 said:

That's pretty cool, I didn't realize that was an option to sacrifice the DH and let him bat for himself.

Oh.....and please never sit Trout again when Ohtani pitches, Kthxbye.

We are already sacrificing the DH with K-Hole Calpoon.

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Personally, I wouldn't bother batting him on pitching days, that's another burden placed on him when we need him dialed into his pitching.  I'd much rather see him bat before and/or after his pitching days though; something they should definitely explore first.

As for Trout sitting, I know it won't happen often but they should only do this on days where Ohtani is in the batting lineup. 

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