Sundays will be Ohtani's days this season

July 19th, 2020

ANAHEIM -- After his final tuneup in intrasquad action on Sunday, two-way star said that he expects to pitch on Sunday against the A’s and that he’ll pitch once a week on Sundays this season.

Ohtani was sharper on Sunday, allowing one run over five innings with six strikeouts and four walks. His control has been in a work in progress in camp, although he’s noted that he doesn’t like pitching to his own teammates for fear of hitting a batter. But Ohtani believes he’s ready for two-way status, and his goal is to be in the lineup on Friday as a designated hitter and then start on the mound on Sunday.

“Obviously, I’m very excited to be back on the mound,” Ohtani said through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara via Zoom. “It’s been almost two years. I want to be prepared to be in the lineup on Opening Day as a hitter and then hopefully we can win the first two games and get some momentum into the third game, which I think I’m going to start.”

The plan with Ohtani will be essentially the same as it was in 2018, when he was the American League Rookie of the Year and pitched on Sundays, with his days off coming on Saturdays and Mondays. The Angels have three Monday off-days this season, which would give him his day off without having him miss a game. If he stays healthy, he would make 10 starts and start 33 games as DH.

Ohtani’s last appearance on the mound came on Sept. 2, 2018; he played in 106 games exclusively as a DH last year.

“It looks like going on Sundays is the best option,” Ohtani said. “We have the most off-days on Monday. I’m not going to hit the following day, so it gives me a chance to rest up.”