Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Inbox: How will Ohtani be used in NL parks?

Angels beat reporter Maria Guardado fields questions from fans
MLB.com @mi_guardado

I don't think the Angels are opposed to having Shohei Ohtani hit and pitch in the same game if his turn in the rotation happens when they're scheduled to play at a National League ballpark. It's something Ohtani did a handful of times in Japan, so it wouldn't be completely new to him.

Tweet from @SDubs35: How do you expect Ohtani to be used in NL ballparks? Will Angels avoid having him pitch so he won���t have to hit and pitch in the same game? Obviously he won���t be in the outfield, but will he pitch, or only pinch hit?

I don't think the Angels are opposed to having Shohei Ohtani hit and pitch in the same game if his turn in the rotation happens when they're scheduled to play at a National League ballpark. It's something Ohtani did a handful of times in Japan, so it wouldn't be completely new to him.

If Ohtani hadn't sprained his left ankle and had his start pushed back to Sunday, we probably would have seen him hit and pitch in the same game against the Rockies at Coors Field this week. The possibility could present itself again, as the Angels still have Interleague series scheduled at Los Angeles, Arizona and San Diego this season.

For now, Ohtani will be limited to pinch-hitting duties during the Angels' two-game set at Colorado with the designated hitter unavailable.

:: Submit a question to the Angels Inbox ::

Tweet from @TraceyFromCali: Does the team have plans to platoon Kole in RF or play him as usual and let him get out of his slump?

Kole Calhoun hasn't started the Angels' past three games against left-handers, so he could see less playing time against lefties if his struggles continue. I think the Angels will still play him regularly against righties to give him a chance to work his way out of his offensive downturn, though.

Tweet from @nmbaseball52: Who do the Angels view as their depth options past the main guys like Richards, Skaggs, Ohtani, Heaney, Tropeano, Barria, and the guys injured currently? Lamb? Canning? Castillo? Morales?

Someone to keep an eye on at Triple-A Salt Lake is Felix Pena, who has pitched exclusively in relief in the Majors but now appears to be in the process of stretching out as a starter. Pena's last four outings for Salt Lake have been starts, and he's allowed five runs over 12 innings (3.75 ERA) with six walks and 17 strikeouts over that span.

Pena has not thrown more than 76 pitches in an outing, so he still needs to build up his pitch count, but the 28-year-old right-hander is on the Angels' 40-man roster, so he could be an intriguing rotation option if a need arises at some point.

Left-hander John Lamb is also on the depth chart, as he's logged a 3.25 ERA over 27 2/3 innings in seven starts for Salt Lake. Lamb isn't on the 40-man roster, though, so that could be a potential impediment for him. Jesus Castillo and Griffin Canning have been pitching well, but they're still at Double-A Mobile, so they're not as close to impacting the big league club.

Tweet from @bowneline: If In another couple of months, Marte (.950 OPS) and Pujols (.729 OPS) are still hitting the way they are currently hitting, might we see Marte starting to eat into some of Pujols��� at bats?

I think Jefry Marte is more likely to cut into the playing time of Luis Valbuena than of Albert Pujols, if Marte continues to play well and the rest of the team stays healthy.

Video: LAA@SEA: Marte ropes a 3-run homer to left field

Valbuena had been projected to draw most of the starts at first base on days when Pujols served as the DH, but the Angels could be inclined to give Marte more of those opportunities, given his productive start to the season. Pujols is earning $27 million this year and is entrenched as the Angels' cleanup hitter, so if he's healthy, he's going to be in the lineup.

How is Alex Meyer coming along? And will we see him in an Angels uniform this year?
-- Ryan P., Greensburg, Ind.

Meyer resumed throwing last month, so that was a notable milestone in his rehab from right shoulder surgery. When Meyer underwent surgery in September to repair the torn labrum in his shoulder, the Angels estimated that he would miss 12 months, so it's unlikely he will pitch in 2018.

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

Los Angeles Angels