Ohtani impresses during first bullpen session

Rookie two-way sensation shows off full pitching arsenal

February 16th, 2018

TEMPE, Ariz. -- spent part of the offseason studying video of 's starts in Japan, so he had a sense of what the 23-year-old's arsenal would be like. He finally saw it for himself Thursday, when he caught Ohtani for the first time during a 35-pitch bullpen session in the back fields at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
"The way the ball came out of his hand and the way he backspinned the ball to me was impressive," Maldonado said. "When you got a guy like that that's had success in his career in the past, something's got to be different than everyone else. I think he's going to be something to watch."

Ohtani, for his part, said he wasn't too happy with the results, though he acknowledged that he still has plenty of time to work out the kinks.
"I wasn't satisfied," Ohtani said through his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara. "It's still early in Spring Training, so obviously I'm not at my peak performance yet."
:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::
Ohtani threw all four of his pitches -- fastball, splitter, slider and curveball -- during two simulated innings and then took batting practice with the catchers. General manager Billy Eppler said the Angels are keeping track of how many swings Ohtani takes per day in an effort to prevent the two-way standout from overextending himself this spring. Ohtani will not take batting practice on days when he is scheduled to start.
"Every morning there's an assessment, subjective and objective, and that's going to help drive what he does on that particular day," Eppler said.

Eppler added that the Angels' rotation size remains in flux, even though manager Mike Scioscia seemed to indicate Tuesday that the club would employ a six-man rotation to ease Ohtani's transition to the Majors.
Angels' Spring Training information
"We're shaping things in that direction, but circumstances of Spring Training, personnel, those things are ultimately going to drive what we do," Eppler said. "Some of our pitchers that are accustomed to pitching on five days' [rest] historically might still pitch on five days' [rest] throughout the season. They're going to be geared in more of a five-day mindset through spring, and then as we get through the end of spring, we can potentially implement an extra day.
"The flexibility is paramount. I think you'll see us through the season adjusting a lot."
Worth noting
• Colombian right-hander and Venezuelan catcher have yet to report to camp because of visa issues, Eppler said.