Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Following a rough outing, Ohtani finds positives

Righty says he feels good following start vs. Mexican League's Tijuana Toros
MLB.com @mi_guardado

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Given the hype that has trailed him from Japan to the United States, it would be easy to succumb to Spring Training alarmism after looking at the line score of Shohei Ohtani's start against the Tijuana Toros of the Mexican League in a "B" game at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Friday.

Taking the mound for the third time this spring, Ohtani surrendered six runs over three innings and at times looked a bit erratic. The rough outing served as a reminder that Ohtani's adjustment to the Majors remains an ongoing process despite the high expectations that have been thrust upon the 23-year-old two-way phenom.

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Given the hype that has trailed him from Japan to the United States, it would be easy to succumb to Spring Training alarmism after looking at the line score of Shohei Ohtani's start against the Tijuana Toros of the Mexican League in a "B" game at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Friday.

Taking the mound for the third time this spring, Ohtani surrendered six runs over three innings and at times looked a bit erratic. The rough outing served as a reminder that Ohtani's adjustment to the Majors remains an ongoing process despite the high expectations that have been thrust upon the 23-year-old two-way phenom.

"Body-wise, I feel the same," Ohtani said via interpreter Ippei Mizuhara. "The adjustments I have to make are with the new ball and new mound and everything. That might be one of the reasons why I'm getting a little delayed, but other than that, my body feels good."

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

The Angels had hoped Ohtani would be able to get through four innings, but he needed 64 pitches to get through three. He gave up six hits, including a first-inning solo home run to Dustin Martin, while walking one and striking out six. Ohtani's fastball primarily ranged from 92-95 mph, though he had trouble locating it.

"I felt like I made a lot of good pitches and quite a few bad ones," Ohtani said. "The good thing I got out of this outing was pitching with runners on base, out of the stretch."

Ohtani has now allowed 10 runs over seven innings in his three appearances as a pitcher this spring, though he has also racked up 16 strikeouts over that span. His results as a hitter have also been mixed so far, as he has gone 1-for-11 with three walks.

Ohtani said he feels more adjustments will be required on the pitching side given the slicker balls and slightly steeper mounds that are used in the United States.

"At this point, I feel like I'm taking the right steps forward," Ohtani said. "Over the last few years, I've gotten to where I need to be. I think I'll be ready."

The Angels have not yet announced when Ohtani will make his next start on the mound, though he will likely return to Cactus League action after making two consecutive outings in sparsely attended "B" games. Catcher Rene Rivera suggested that Ohtani could benefit from pitching on a larger stage, particularly once the regular season begins.

"I'll tell you something, once the lights come on, it's a different ballgame," Rivera said. "I think it's tough to pitch here. There are no fans. Don't get me wrong, [the Toros], they're a good team, but they're not a big league team, so the adrenaline is not there. Once the lights come on, you're going to see a lot more velocity, sharper pitches. It's going to be Ohtani."

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

Los Angeles Angels, Shohei Ohtani