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OC Register: Angels remain confident that Shohei Ohtani will hit lefties

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ANAHEIM — For all that Shohei Ohtani has done, success against left-handed pitchers remains elusive early in his big league career.

Ohtani was not in the lineup against Kansas City left-hander Danny Duffy on Monday night. The Angels have faced a left-handed starter 11 times when Ohtani has been available – not pitching or within a day of pitching, and not when he had a sprained ankle. Ohtani has started five of those games.

Ohtani is hitting .143 (4 for 28) against left-handed pitchers, and .329 against right-handers. His OPS against lefties is .451, compared to 1.047 against righties.

When Ohtani first showed signs of difficulty with lefties in spring training, Manager Mike Scioscia said he had no issues with lefties in Japan. He expected that to continue.

Asked about the results so far, Scioscia said it was still a small sample.

“He’s had some really good at-bats against some lefties and sometimes he’s been searching,” Scioscia said. “There’s a lot on Shohei’s plate. Learning the league, learning the different deliveries. For any young player coming up from the minor leagues to the major leagues there is an adjustment to make. There is a lot on his plate. He will hit lefties.”

Ohtani said the difference is the caliber of pitching from Japan to the majors. He also said he expects to be fine.

“Whether it’s a righty or a lefty, I try not to think about the righty-lefty thing,” he said through his interpreter. “I have a similar approach to both pitchers. I’m not too worried about it at this point.”


Angels (Andrew Heaney, 2-4, 3.66) vs. Royals (Brad Keller, 1-1, 2.13), Tuesday, 7 p.m., Fox Sports West, KLAA (830 AM)

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