Ohtani drives in run, walks twice in hitting debut

February 26th, 2018

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Two days after his first start on the mound, made his second debut of the spring, batting second and serving as the designated hitter in the Angels' 10-4 loss to the Padres at Peoria Sports Complex on Monday.
Ohtani did not record an out in three plate appearances for the Angels, finishing 1-for-1 with an RBI single and two walks.
"I was happy to get that first hit out of the way, but I was also happy with my first two at-bats," Ohtani said through his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara. "I got to see a lot of pitches. I got to face a righty and a lefty. I feel like I put together pretty good at-bats in the first two walks."
In his first plate appearance, Ohtani battled back from an 0-2 count to work a walk against Padres right-hander . Ohtani walked again in the third inning against left-hander Buddy Baumann and advanced to second base when Baumann uncorked a wild pitch to the next batter.

After doubled with one out in the fifth, Ohtani bounced a single up the middle off to score Young and cut the Padres' lead to 4-1. Ohtani was then lifted for a pinch-runner, officially ending his day.
Though Ohtani showed patience in his first two plate appearances, he said he wanted to be more aggressive in his final at-bat since there was a man on second.
"One of the reasons why I was able to see so many pitches in the first two at-bats was I wanted to feel the difference in the strike zones between Japan and the States," Ohtani said. "I feel like I accomplished that. Plus, there was a runner in scoring position, so I wanted to be aggressive on the first pitch."

A left-handed hitter and right-handed pitcher, Ohtani uses an elbow guard when he bats to protect his prized throwing arm. At the Angels' suggestion, Ohtani also wore a glove resembling an oven mitt on his right hand while running the bases Monday. The glove is similar to the one now used by , who tore a thumb ligament on a head-first slide into second base last year.
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"The team just told me to try it on, so I tried it on," Ohtani said. "There's nothing much else to say."
Ohtani enjoyed more success in his batting debut than he did in his pitching debut on Saturday, when he allowed two runs over 1 1/3 innings against the Brewers and struggled with command issues.
"I think it goes for almost every player, but my hitting is always ahead of my pitching at this point in the year, just like any other year," Ohtani said.
Manager Mike Scioscia said Ohtani's next start on the mound is scheduled for Friday, either in the Angels' Cactus League game against the Cubs at Tempe Diablo Stadium or in a "B" game. Scioscia added that there's "a chance" Ohtani will bat again Tuesday against the Rockies in Scottsdale.