Could the Angels have Shohei Ohtani pitching more often in 2022? – Orange County Register
ANAHEIM – Shohei Ohtani delivered the quality of an ace to the Angels, but don’t expect him to deliver the quantity.
Manager Joe Maddon conceded on Tuesday that it was probably unrealistic to expect Ohtani to increase his workload next year, so he throws as often as a typical major league starter.
Rather than pitching on four or five days off, like most major league starters, next season Ohtani will continue to pitch on five or six days off, or more, Maddon said.
“It’s the price you pay, or it’s the method you have to use to get this guy to play both throw and hit,” Maddon said. “I didn’t think otherwise. I’m pretty sure it will stay the same, as you’ve seen this year.
While it’s no surprise Maddon doesn’t think Ohtani can ramp up from there, it was still a valid question as this season the Angels have significantly increased Ohtani’s workload compared to to the way he was used the last time he was a two-way player. .
In 2018, the Angels insisted on giving Ohtani a day off before and after his launch, and he also didn’t hit the day he pitched. All of those rules have been dropped this season, and Ohtani has played pretty much every day.
Pressing the accelerator even harder on Ohtani next year could certainly help the Angels if he could. Ohtani will likely end this season with 23 starts, which is probably seven to 10 short of a traditional starter who is going through the season in good health. Obviously, the Angels need all the pitching they can get, and more Ohtani would help. He’s 3.28 ERA and the Angels are 13-9 in his starts, 0.591 winning percentage.
If the Angels aren’t going to increase the volume of Ohtani, it begs the question of how they would shape the rest of the spin around Ohtani.
Could they put all their other newbies to work for four or five days off and still welcome Ohtani? If they add a premium launcher that would like to cast as often as possible, could the Angels work that around Ohtani?
Maddon said they could.
“If we get vets, real solid vets who like to go every five days, I think that would be settled,” Maddon said. “I don’t think it will be such a big deal if it happens. ”
Maddon also suggested that some of the returning pitchers besides Ohtani – like Patrick Sandoval or José Suarez, for example – could still benefit from the extra rest. None have ever pitched 100 innings in a major league season.
As for the rest of this season, the Angels don’t know when Ohtani’s next departure will be.
If he is to have a minimum of six days off, the earliest it would be Sunday, the last home game of the season. If he starts on Sunday, he could theoretically still start again the following Sunday in the season finale, giving him 24 starts.
Maddon said they are still waiting to see how Ohtani’s arm bounces from his previous outing to decide when – or if – he throws again.
“He and (performer Ippei Mizuhara) didn’t say anything worse than normal to me,” Maddon said. “He’s going to be in pain today. But it’s a bit normal. ”
Angels (RHP Janson Junk, 0-1, 2.25) vs. Astros (RHP Luis Garcia, 11-7, 3.37), Wednesday, 6:38 p.m. Bally Sports West, 8:30 a.m.