Halos trying to balance Ohtani's arm, bat

Two-way star scheduled to throw bullpen session Wednesday, could also DH against Kershaw, Dodgers

March 6th, 2018

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Next up for : .

Well, maybe.

Ohtani is to throw a normal bullpen session Wednesday in preparation for his Friday start, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia did not rule out the possibility Ohtani would get some at-bats against the three-time National League Cy Young Award winner Kershaw when the teams play at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

"We hope to get him some at-bats," Scioscia said, "but, obviously, he has to pay attention to the pitching side of it, too. There are some things you have to factor in. It is not a simple equation. He's going through a lot."

Ohtani said he looks forward to seeing Kershaw whether he plays or not.

"If I am, then I'll be excited," Ohtani said through an interpreter. "He is one of the best pitchers. Not just him, I'm facing the best pitchers in the world."

Ohtani is 1-for-9 after going 0-for-2 with two strikeouts and a walk while hitting fifth as the DH in a 5-4 loss to Arizona at Salt River Fields on Tuesday.

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"His swings are fine," Scioscia said. "It's just getting some timing. Seeing the ball. It is going to take some at-bats. He's very comfortable in the batter's box. Tracking pitches is step one in Spring Training. Now it's about seeing the ball, putting a swing on it. Sometimes that takes 15, 20 at-bats."

Ohtani is using a slightly different bat this spring, one with a little deeper cup at the top, but said he often changes bats and considers that no issue.

As far as seeing pitches he had never faced before, he said: "I try not to change my approach, even though it is the first time. After that, I try to make the adjustment."

Ohtani is to make his third pitching appearance in a split-squad game Friday against the Tijuana Toros of the Mexican League in Tempe. Jorge Cantu, Omar Quintanilla and Horacio Ramirez are among the former Major Leaguers listed on the Toros' roster. The Angels also play the Cubs in Mesa that day.

Ramirez remembers

This time, JC Ramirez had a real left fielder when he took the mound at Salt River Fields. When Ramirez pitched in a Spring Training game for Arizona in 2015, actor Will Ferrell played left field as part of his five-game, 10-position tour while shooting an HBO special for charity.

"I actually thought about that when we came here," Ramirez said. "It was funny."

Farrell also played for the Angels that day, replacing in center field in the third inning after a short drive to HoHokam Stadium in Mesa. The Angels later tweeted that they traded Farrell to the Cubs for a washing machine.

Ramirez ran his string of consecutive spring outs to 12 while cruising through his first two innings before running into trouble Tuesday. He struck out three of the six he faced before giving up a three-run, opposite-field homer to Arizona left fielder with one out in the third inning. and Jeff Mathis singled to start the rally before Peralta hit a sinker that stayed up.

Ramirez said he might have chosen a different pitch in a regular-sesaon situation, but wanted to work on his sinker.

"Spring Training, [I'm] still getting my location," he said. "I'm working on it, and I feel pretty good with what I had today."

Time getting short

Right-hander remains in limbo while attempting to work out visa issues to enter the country from his native Colombia, and he is running out of time to land a spot on the Major League roster out of Spring Training.

Diaz, 29, was acquired off waivers from Houston in September after making 10 appearances with the Astros last season. He gave up three homers and 13 runs in 13 innings, but also struck out 20 while walking only four.

"We're approaching a point where we are not going to be able to give him enough innings or get enough looks at him to make that kind of decision, but we are not quite there yet," Scioscia said.

Injury report

Chris Young ran on a treadmill, stretched and took batting practice during early work while recovering from a calf injury suffered early in camp. He appears close to playing in games, and Scioscia said Young still has enough time to be ready for the regular season.

Up next

Right-hander is slated to make his third spring start when he opposes Kershaw at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Wednesday. Richards has given up three hits and one run while striking out five in his first five innings. First pitch is set for 12:10 p.m. PT, and the game will be broadcast live on MLB.TV.

The Angels also will play a "B" game Wednesday, with right-hander Nick Tropeano scheduled to start against Colorado at Salt River Fields. and also are scheduled to pitch for the Angels.