Ohtani has 'great outing' in intrasquad game

Two-way player throws 85 pitches, works mostly on refining splitter

March 24th, 2018

TEMPE, Ariz. -- 's first MLB Spring Training, at least the Arizona phase, ended Saturday as he pitched 5 1/3 innings in an Angels intrasquad game on a back field.
Ohtani, who was facing mostly Minor Leaguers, allowed two runs on two hits. He walked five, hit a batter and uncorked two wild pitches.
Spring Training information
Ohtani threw 85 pitches, 47 for strikes.
"He put up some important markers, getting up six times and throwing more than 80 pitches," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Hopefully he'll come out of it and we'll evaluate it."
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Is the 23-year-old two-way Japanese star ready to face big league hitters in the regular season?
"Let's wait and see how he comes out of it," Scioscia said. "This was a great outing. He's working on some things. He'll be fine."
Ohtani believes he is ready.
"So far I've done everything I can to get ready for Opening Day," he said through an interpreter. "I know I'm not at 100 percent. But it is hard, like every other year. Even in Japan, I was not like 100 percent on Opening Day. It's going to be gradually. I think it's going to be the same thing here.
"It's a new season, a new environment like this, of course a lot of excitement. But at the same time, I'm still worried, not only because it's a new place and a new environment, but in Japan at this time of year, I always had worries."
He said he concentrated primarily on his splitter Saturday.
"The plan was to throw as many splitters as I can, so to get the feel of it," Ohtani said. "I was able to do that. I felt really good, especially toward the end."
He threw 16 pitches in the first inning, 18 in the second, 11 in the third, 22 in the fourth, 12 in the fifth and six to one batter in the sixth.
He made just two starts in big league games and was 0-1 with a 27.00 ERA, allowing eight earned runs on nine hits, including three home runs, in 2 2/3 innings.
"Of course I would have liked to have faced more Major League hitters, but it's more than that," Ohtani said. "It was about me making adjustments with the ball and the mound and everything. It didn't really matter who I really faced. I have to check my own stuff, my mechanics."
Ohtani, who is penciled in to be the Angels' designated hitter two or three days a week when he is not the starting pitcher, went 3-for-28 (.107) in 10 Cactus League games.
"I felt like I had a pretty good spring overall," Ohtani said. "There was a lot of things I learned, a lot of things I was able to do and wasn't able to do. It will be easier for me next year. Overall, it was a very good experience."
Scioscia said Ohtani would DH some in the Freeway Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.