Baseball season is back. Out of all the rookies who are supposed to make their debuts this season, Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani exceedingly has received a lot of attention from baseball fans. Since he has produced outstanding records, both as a batter and as a pitcher in Japan, Major League Baseball (MLB) fans expect him to succeed as a two-way player in MLB as well.
However, if someone focuses solely on his performance in spring training, one might question if he’s truly prepared for the Opening Day roster. As of March 18, Ohtani’s earned run average (ERA) sits at 18.36 with nineteen base hits allowed in eight 1/3 innings, according to ESPN. In terms of hitting, he had a batting average of .083 with only two hits in 24 at-bats in the spring.
In addition to that, there are a couple of obstacles that he has to overcome in order to become accustomed to American baseball. For example, the pitcher’s mound in MLB is higher than the regulation mounds used in Japan. Also, the American ball is harder to grip than balls used in Japan because Japanese baseballs have smaller seams. Those factors, which might sound like just tiny differences, are unexpectedly difficult to adjust. Considering his performance during spring training, he might need more time to adjust to American baseball.
“I feel like I’ve done everything I can get to get ready for Opening Day and I felt like I’ve done everything 100 percent, but it’s hard. Every other year, even in Japan, I was never 100 percent on Opening Day, so it’s going to go gradually into the season. I think it’s going to be the same this time.” said Ohtani, according to ESPN.
Whether he starts his first season in the majors or the minors, he is a hot topic for the Angels this season. Baseball fans are excited to see his performance this year.
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