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MLB Breaking News: Ohtani Staying Put

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An exciting piece of recent MLB Breaking News yesterday saw the Los Angels Angels commit two years and $8.5 million to Shohei Ohtani. This deal allows both the team and player to avoid an arbitration hearing.

“Sho Time” as he is known came to the Angels and Major League Baseball after beginning his career in Japan with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters.

MLB Breaking News: Ohtani’s Potential

Ohtani made quite a splash with the Angels in 2018, winning the American League Rookie Of The Year Award and showing both the Angels and fans some serious talent with his ability to pitch and hit at the Major League level.

He started 2018 as the Angels Designated Hitter (DH), singling in his first at-bat. He then had three home runs over the next couple of games and pitched seven innings of a perfect game before allowing a hit. Blisters plagued him after that start as well as a UCL sprain.

He did manage to recover from those injuries and produced a 2018 season that saw him hit .285 as well as a .361 on-base percentage. He finished with 22 home runs, 10 stolen bases, and 61 RBIs. His .564 slugging percentage ranked seventh overall among MLB players with at least 350 plate appearances for this season. 

In 10 starts on the mound, he notched a 4–2 record with a 3.31 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and 63 strikeouts. He became the second-fastest Angels rookie to reach 20 home runs and joined Babe Ruth as the only pair of MLB players with 10 pitching appearances and 20 homers in a season.

2018 ended with more MLB breaking news with him undergoing Tommy John Surgery in September. 

2019 and 2020 Season Show Flashes of Brilliance and Disappointment

Through the 2019 and shortened 2020 seasons, he showed flashes of brilliance as well as an inability to avoid the injury bug with issues with his right knee and his right arm. 

He posted a .190 Batting average in the 2020 shortened 60-game season where he played in 43 games. His right elbow acted up as well and that prevented him from pitching any more games.

The games that he did appear in were complete disasters particularly the first one where he surrendered five runs and did not record a single out. 

Ohtani then is looked at as somewhat of a wild card given his huge potential, some parts of a season where he was brilliant, and his battling of the injury bug.

It’s unfair to throw him under the bus just yet but in being given a two-year contract by the Angels, they are willing to see what else he has to offer and if he will be able to utilize his talent to the fullest potential while minimizing his time on the injured list.

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Ben has been closely following sports since the late 1980s and began writing about them in the 90s. Armed with a BA, an associate certificate, and a diploma, he brings a highly educated perspective to sports betting. Specializing in hockey, baseball, and tech, Ben has contributed many outlets and is a frequent contributor to the CKNW radio station.