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OC Register: Astros ace Gerrit Cole remains a big fan of Angels’ Shohei Ohtani

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HOUSTON — While Shohei Ohtani has been limited to hitting this year, at least one of his opponents has not forgotten about what he was as a two-way player and could still become when he’s pitching again next year.

“It’s kind of hard for me to understand,” Houston Astros ace Gerrit Cole said Friday. “I can’t even really understand. The physical demand is incomprehensible. I couldn’t imagine doing it. Certainly, he has the ability to do both. My gosh, why not give it a shot. You’ve been given a gift. Go for it. It’s crazy. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Ohtani came into this weekend’s series against the Astros hitting .306 with 16 homers and an .892 OPS. He is nearly 11 months into his rehab from Tommy John surgery, so he’s now throwing breaking balls in his bullpen sessions. General Manager Billy Eppler said Ohtani will progress until he’s facing hitters for about 60 pitches in a simulated game setting, and then he’ll stop throwing for the winter.

Then, the Angels will once again face the issue of figuring out how to get the most value out of his talents.

Cole has a suggestion.

“I’d like to see him hit and pitch a little bit,” Cole said. “I’d like to see him be a closer-type guy.”

There is no indication the Angels have any intention of doing that, because they need starting pitching more and it would also be complicated to have him warm up to pitch in relief while he’s in the game as a hitter.

While Cole conceded those factors would make it tough, he said he simply wants to see Ohtani maximize his talent without getting hurt again.

“This guy is as good as Mike (Trout), almost, at the dish,” Cole said. “I’ve never seen a physical specimen like that. This guy is a legit 40 (home runs) and 120 (RBIs) guy if he just hits. Legit. Why are we going to get greedy (by using him as a starting pitcher)?

“I want to see him play for 15 years, 20 years. I’ve never seen anything like it. That’s why I don’t want to be greedy. Just let the guy play for 20 years. I just want to watch it. I’m so intrigued.”

While the Angels might not follow Cole’s suggestion of how to use Ohtani, they’d certainly love to give Cole the opportunity to watch him up close for years.

Cole, a former Orange Lutheran and UCLA star, is a free agent this winter, and will certainly be one of the Angels’ offseason targets.

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8 minutes ago, Vlad27Trout27 said:

Until i see following headline in the offseason, i'm not getting excited; Breaking News Gerret Cole to sign with Angels........

and than i'm not jumping out of my bed, until i hear: The Los angels angels have made the Playoffs!

So you only get excited about things after they happen? That seems kinda poopy.

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31 minutes ago, tdawg87 said:

So you only get excited about things after they happen? That seems kinda poopy.

He just now got excited about 2002.  Give it about 10 years and he's gonna lose his shit when he finds out about Mike Trout.  In about 15 years, Shohei's gonna blow his mind. 

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