Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Ohtani throws BP, adjusts to conditions

Catcher Maldonado says two-way star struggled to control curve due to Arizona weather
MLB.com @mi_guardado

TEMPE, Ariz. -- All eyes were again on Shohei Ohtani on Saturday afternoon, as the Japanese two-way phenom took the mound for his first live batting-practice session, throwing 30 pitches over two simulated innings.

Ohtani faced Minor Leaguers Brennan Morgan, a Class A first baseman, and Hutton Moyer, a Double-A shortstop and the son of former Major League pitcher Jaime Moyer. Ohtani induced five foul balls and one flyout to left field during his workout.

TEMPE, Ariz. -- All eyes were again on Shohei Ohtani on Saturday afternoon, as the Japanese two-way phenom took the mound for his first live batting-practice session, throwing 30 pitches over two simulated innings.

Ohtani faced Minor Leaguers Brennan Morgan, a Class A first baseman, and Hutton Moyer, a Double-A shortstop and the son of former Major League pitcher Jaime Moyer. Ohtani induced five foul balls and one flyout to left field during his workout.

"There were good and bad parts, but I was happy to get through the 30 pitches," Ohtani said through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara. "There are adjustments that I'll need to make the next time I'm on the mound."

Ohtani struggled to locate his curveball at times, though catcher Martin Maldonado said that was likely because of the dry conditions in Arizona.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

"He's going to experience that all of Spring Training because of the weather here," Maldonado said. "You see a lot of guys with really good command of the curveball, and they can't command it here. The same with sinkerballers, because the weather here is so dry. It doesn't break the way it should during the season."

Ohtani did not hit on Saturday, though he is scheduled to bat against live pitching for the first time on either Tuesday or Wednesday.

• Ohtani wows during first bullpen session

Manager Mike Scioscia also said Ohtani will be available off the bench as a pinch-hitter or pinch-runner in between his starts on the mound.

Video: Rose and Millar talk about Ohtani's role with Angels

"I've never had a pitcher pinch-run," Scioscia said. "There's more bad than good that can come out of it. But Shohei is not just a pitcher. He's a guy that has the ability to do some of the things coming off the bench, whether it's pinch-hit or pinch-run, and we're definitely going to tap into that if it's necessary, because we feel we're not putting him at risk. It's something he's able to do."

Kinsler happy to be an Angel

Ian Kinsler admits that there were times earlier in his career when he never would have considered joining the Angels.

Kinsler spent the first eight years of his career with the Rangers, establishing himself as a frequent thorn in the Angels' side during their many divisional clashes.

"I think it was just the rivalry in general," Kinsler said. "They didn't like me, I didn't like them."

Video: Outlook: Kinsler may return to 100-run plateau

The Angels were among the teams included on Kinsler's partial no-trade list this offseason, but the veteran second baseman decided to approve a trade to Anaheim to join a contender -- and reunite with his good friend Justin Upton -- instead of enduring another rebuilding year with the Tigers.

• J-Up happy he re-upped with Angels

"To be on the other side right now, it's super exciting," said Kinsler, who reported to camp with Upton on Saturday. "Anytime you're on a team with high expectations, you feel like that's where you want to be as a ballplayer. You work hard in the offseason, you work hard to get yourself in this position and to be on a team that expects a championship. [It's] where you want to be."

Worth noting

Angels position players are scheduled to report on Sunday, with the club's first full-squad workout set for Monday.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels, Shohei Ohtani