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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Reports From Japan Suggest Shohei Otani Will Request To Be Posted | MLBTR

Japanese star pitcher/outfielder Shohei Otani has long been on the radar as one of the most talented players on the planet who isn’t already with a MLB organization. He stoked expectations before the season that he might ask his current team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — to make him available to major league clubs through the posting system. Now, reports out of Japan tonight suggest that’s just what will occur.

The article is more eloquent in the original Japanese.

LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 13, 2017 at 08:41 PM | 65 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: japan, nippon ham fighters, shohei otani

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   1. Wahoo Sam Posted: September 13, 2017 at 11:59 PM (#5531306)
He does look somewhat like Verlander and his stuff looks really good. I think MLB coaches will have him work on tucking his shoulder in on his delivery, it's a bit unruly. At the plate he has some Ichiro and some Tony Gwynn in him.

An enterprising GM should play him 130 games in right field and start him on the mound 25-30 times. I think at 23 his body can handle it. He could even come in to face a batter from his position in the outfield.
   2. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 14, 2017 at 12:22 AM (#5531308)
An enterprising GM should play him 130 games in right field and start him on the mound 25-30 times. I think at 23 his body can handle it. He could even come in to face a batter from his position in the outfield.

If he's really elite at hitting and pitching, there are a lot of options on how to use him, both long-term and in-game tactical decisions. However, there'd be less risk to such a valuable asset if he were to mostly DH rather than play the field when not pitching. Probably need to give him the day off before he pitches, and the day after, at least some of the time. A team that didn't already have an Edgar Martinez/David Ortiz level DH could make it work with ~ 60% Otani and ~ 40% rotating DH, while freeing up a roster spot to help elsewhere.

I really want to see Otani in both roles, preferably in pinstripes. It'd be the story of the season if he could star at the bat and on the mound.
   3. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: September 14, 2017 at 12:28 AM (#5531309)
Outfielder/closer might be the most efficient way to utilize an elite two way guy. Problem is warming him up if he spends the bottom of the 8th or top of the 9th on base.
   4. caspian88 Posted: September 14, 2017 at 01:57 AM (#5531316)
Using an elite two way player as both a pitcher and a regular hitter or position player is just begging for a career ending or at least altering injury.

If he's really that good at both, pick one and make him stick there.
   5. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: September 14, 2017 at 04:24 AM (#5531321)
It's pretty clear he wants to do both, and that he's willing to take a massive paycut just to play in the US. I expect he'll make the demand to both pitch and hit, and go with the team that offers him the possibility.
   6. PreservedFish Posted: September 14, 2017 at 06:57 AM (#5531326)
Yeah, I think that SP/DH is probably his fate. It would be more interesting to see him in rightfield but I think that's asking too much. Brooks Kieshnick, even when he was OPSing 970 in his first year as a relief pitcher, was essentially limited to pinch-hitting duties.
   7. PreservedFish Posted: September 14, 2017 at 06:59 AM (#5531327)
Using an elite two way player as both a pitcher and a regular hitter or position player is just begging for a career ending or at least altering injury.

If he's really that good at both, pick one and make him stick there.


Do you hate fun? Otani succeeding as a two-way player would be a media and marketing bonanza for any team and for MLB.
   8. You're a clown, RMc! I'm tired of it! Posted: September 14, 2017 at 08:14 AM (#5531338)
An enterprising GM should play him 130 games in right field and start him on the mound 25-30 times.


And when Otani gets hurt, the enterprising GM will find himself selling shoes somewhere in the Midwest.

Otani succeeding as a two-way player would be a media and marketing bonanza for any team and for MLB.


Maybe, but nobody's going to put their career on the line just so fanboys can say, "HAI GUYZ HE'S HITTING AND PITCHING TOO OMG LOL!"
   9. PreservedFish Posted: September 14, 2017 at 08:40 AM (#5531354)
Maybe, but nobody's going to put their career on the line just so fanboys can say, "HAI GUYZ HE'S HITTING AND PITCHING TOO OMG LOL!"


Oh please. Do you think that Otani considers that playing both ways - something he has done all of his life, and many MLB players did into their early 20s - is putting his career on the line?

I realize that MLB teams are very conservative with these investments, but I think you guys are missing something essential here. I don't know what the best mix for a SP/RF would be, but taking the example above of 130 games as an OF and 25-30 GS as SP, you're putting Otani into 1,300 plate appearances! He would have an unparalleled opportunity to impact the game. If Otani is a very good player on both sides of the ball, say a 4 WAR talent, he'll be putting up 6-7 WAR seasons. Couple that with the marketing boom - and the fact that this guy will be on an amateur reserve-clause contract - and do you really imagine the COO or owner saying, "nah, let's be cautious here. Just turn him into a pitcher."
   10. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 14, 2017 at 08:41 AM (#5531356)
Using an elite two way player as both a pitcher and a regular hitter or position player is just begging for a career ending or at least altering injury.


Which, of course, could just as easily happen if he was JUST a pitcher or JUST a hitter.

I'm not sure I understand what the real issue is with him being a DH in the 3 games each time through the rotation that he isn't starting or isn't his "bullpen day".
If hitting is such a strain on a pitcher, why do they let pitchers bat DURING THE GAME in the NL?
   11. Nasty Nate Posted: September 14, 2017 at 09:00 AM (#5531372)
And when Otani gets hurt, the enterprising GM will find himself selling shoes somewhere in the Midwest.
Not if him playing 2 ways is a condition for him choosing to play on the team.
   12. Nasty Nate Posted: September 14, 2017 at 09:07 AM (#5531377)
With an NL team, how about 25 starts pitching, 140 innings, with about 65 PAs hitting in those games.
Then 60 starts in the OF (and DH in AL parks), giving him another 240ish PAs hitting.
Plus 50 games as a pinch-hitter and/or OF off the bench, with another 60 PAs hitting.
And also one emergency 17th inning pinch-hit plus relief pitching outing.
   13. PreservedFish Posted: September 14, 2017 at 09:27 AM (#5531393)
#12 - that's about 350 PAs as a hitter, and 600 BF as a starter. Likely leads the league in PA+BF. That's similar to what an ace like Max Scherzer will do, although of course hit 60+ PAs are a drag on the team, not a positive.

In reality he will be viewed either primarily as a hitter, or primarily as a pitcher.

If primarily as a hitter, I think that will end his 2-way play. He cannot start if he's concentrating on his position play, and although he could provide value in the bullpen, it's probably limited upside in comparison to some other fresh-faced fellow that throws 98 mph. He can't properly warm up if he's already in the game.

If primarily as a pitcher, then there's a chance that he can play in the field or DH on his days off. You'd prefer DH so that he need not use his arm. If he's primarily a pitcher, there's no earthly reason to limit his GS in order to get him more PAs. So he'll start as many games as possible, say 33 if he's healthy, and play perhaps 70 games as a DH with some pinch-hitting on other days. Let's say 850 BF + 350 PA. That puts him at 1,200, which would lead the league.

Undoubtedly he will be viewed as a pitcher. Good hitters from Japan haven't fared so well here, pitchers have, and it's rare to turn down the chance to develop a 99mph arm.
   14. Nasty Nate Posted: September 14, 2017 at 09:36 AM (#5531400)
So he'll start as many games as possible, say 33 if he's healthy,
In 2019 or beyond, sure. But he's never started more than 25 in a season, and only started a handful this year. He won't be the SP for 33 games next year.
   15. PreservedFish Posted: September 14, 2017 at 09:57 AM (#5531410)
Sadly I think it's likely that he's not a good enough hitter to REALLY add compelling value. Even if he's only as good as, say, Kendry Morales - a real DH that has earned millions of bucks doing what he does - well, Kendrys has been a 1 WAR every 100 games player over the course of his career.

If that's the case - he'll quickly become a platoon DH (that can only play 60% of the time) at best and soon enough if he's only starting like 40 games, then yeah, you get to the point where you feel it might not be worth it to have him hit much. Would still be really cool for him to pinch-hit if he could.
   16. Nasty Nate Posted: September 14, 2017 at 10:12 AM (#5531426)
It would be funny if he played for Joe Maddon as some hybrid multi-inning reliever / OF / PH.

He can go P-OF-P within the same game, right?
   17. PreservedFish Posted: September 14, 2017 at 10:14 AM (#5531429)
Yeah but it would burn bench players to do that. Or you'd need another P/OF to swap with.
   18. Dolf Lucky Posted: September 14, 2017 at 10:19 AM (#5531431)
Do the international pool limits come into play here? Is there a subset of teams that are the only viable candidates to sign Otani, leaving aside the question of which teams might be most attractive to Otani?
   19. Nasty Nate Posted: September 14, 2017 at 10:31 AM (#5531439)
Do the international pool limits come into play here?
Yes, but maybe not that much. He doesn't seem to be interested in maximizing his earnings, so the size of his bonus might not be important to him.
   20. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 14, 2017 at 11:18 AM (#5531483)
Baseball players get hurt, I don't see any reason to think that Otani is more likely to get injured than anyone else. Frankly he's probably more athletic than the average pitcher so he's probably a bit less of an injury risk than the average pitcher.

My thought with him is in a perfect world he could handle first base to try and limit the throws somewhat.
   21. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 14, 2017 at 11:20 AM (#5531484)

Problem is warming him up if he spends the bottom of the 8th or top of the 9th on base.


Probably a dumb question but how important is warming up going to be for him? Unlike a traditional reliever he won't have just spent the last 8 innings sitting on the bench spitting sunflower seeds. I'd bet he can get loose pretty quickly after 8 innings in the field, warm up throws between innings, that kind of thing.
   22. Nasty Nate Posted: September 14, 2017 at 11:24 AM (#5531489)
Baseball players get hurt, I don't see any reason to think that Otani is more likely to get injured than anyone else.
If he's starting games at pitcher and other games at OF, he faces the standard arm injury risk of a pitcher, and then also faces the running into a wall (etc.) risks of being an OF. Wouldn't that increase his risk compared to someone who does only one of those things?
   23. manchestermets Posted: September 14, 2017 at 11:29 AM (#5531498)
If an AL team signed him, and they could see that he really is a good hitter, I don't see why they wouldn't use him as a DH on off days. I can understand not wanting one of your rotation playing the field, but DHing shouldn't really put too much strain on him should it?
   24. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 14, 2017 at 11:31 AM (#5531501)
If he's starting games at pitcher and 85 games at OF, he faces the standard arm injury risk of a pitcher, and then also faces the running into a wall (etc.) risks of being an OF. Wouldn't that increase his risk compared to someone who does only one of those things?


I suppose but how often do those things happen? I think we overstate injury risk. Playing one way didn't help guys like Mark Prior or Nick Johnson. Guys get hurt, it happens, but it seems that the only things that are reliable in terms of injury predictions are guys who get hurt a lot already and position changes. Assuming teams don't ask Otani to play different positions from what he usually does already I don't think that should be a big issue.

I guess in theory yeah, a starting pitcher won't get hurt on the bench and Otani would be incrementally more likely to get injured playing right field but this isn't football, the frequency of guys getting seriously injured playing baseball is relatively low.
   25. PreservedFish Posted: September 14, 2017 at 11:36 AM (#5531505)
If he's starting games at pitcher and 85 games at OF, he faces the standard arm injury risk of a pitcher, and then also faces the running into a wall (etc.) risks of being an OF. Wouldn't that increase his risk compared to someone who does only one of those things?


Like I stated, his increased injury risk is proportional to the increase in the number of chances he has to impact the game, which is unparalleled.
   26. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 14, 2017 at 11:43 AM (#5531513)
If he's starting games at pitcher and 85 games at OF, he faces the standard arm injury risk of a pitcher, and then also faces the running into a wall (etc.) risks of being an OF. Wouldn't that increase his risk compared to someone who does only one of those things?


It depends.

If the OF risk is more dangerous (on a per game probability, and assuming each game is independent), then playing 1/2 the number of games (80 instead of 160) significantly reduces the probability of it happening. If the OF risk is cumulative over the span of games, then cutting his OF playing time in half compared to a regular OF is even better.

If the P risk is more dangerous (on a per game probability, and assuming each game is independent), then starting less games (25? vs 32) reduces the probability of it happening. If the P risk is cumulative over the span of games, then cutting his P starts even a small amount makes him safer than a regular starting pitcher.

Yes, being a combined P/OF means he'll have more risk than ONE OF a regular P or regular OF, but not both. At the same time, he'll have less risk than ONE OF a regular P or regular OF, but not both. It just depends on which position you believe is more likely to be hurt, and if you reduce the number of games he plays at that position to a point where the probability is significantly reduced.
   27. Tim D Posted: September 14, 2017 at 12:18 PM (#5531542)
I would create a new role for him, cuz I want his bat in the lineup assuming it plays. You can't use him from the pen cuz he needs to warm-up. I'd have him start, pitch 3-4 innings, twice a week. He's throwing maybe 75 pitches rather than 100+ which would make it easier to play OF the next day. You get as much from him as most teams get from the #5 spot. I think if you make him a 200 IP starter he will get too gassed to be much good as a hitter. Pitching to Japanese League batters is a lot less stressful than MLB. Not as much power, and you see a lot of high IP and high pitch counts, cuz it's not max effort on every pitch.
   28. Lassus Posted: September 14, 2017 at 12:35 PM (#5531554)
I guess he has no control at all over whether an AL or an NL teams gets him?
   29. Nasty Nate Posted: September 14, 2017 at 12:39 PM (#5531560)
I guess he has no control at all over whether an AL or an NL teams gets him?
I think he has complete control. And usage might be a big factor over his choice, because no team can blow him out of the water with money.
   30. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 14, 2017 at 12:56 PM (#5531577)
It would be funny if he played for Joe Maddon as some hybrid multi-inning reliever / OF / PH.

He can go P-OF-P within the same game, right?


You have to figure that's going to be a big part of the Cubs' pitch to him. From what I've read, no one seems to be 100% sure exactly what he wants to do, but choosing to come over now instead of wait 2 years and have no limits on his contract is a big deal.

Because he gets to choose wherever he does, the difference between a $300K bonus (what penalized teams like the Cubs and Dodgers can offer) and $10mil (anyone who hasn't gone over their limit) seem like nothing since he's giving up so much coming over now. I think it was Passan's article that pointed out this is likely to be about the more "pure" FA we've ever seen. It'll probably be exactly like college football recruiting - including whatever handshake, unofficial promises teams try to make.
   31. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 14, 2017 at 01:07 PM (#5531584)
I don't see any reason to think that Otani is more likely to get injured than anyone else. Frankly he's probably more athletic than the average pitcher so he's probably a bit less of an injury risk than the average pitcher.

And not all injuries would affect both roles. Pitchers seem to get injured more often than position players, but with Two-Way Otani a team would have a fallback option of using him just as a hitter if he had an injury that only affected his pitching. Might also be able to use him in a like manner when he'd otherwise be on the DL.

The way the international bonus pool now operates, his team will get a tryout period to figure out how to use Otani before committing to a long-term deal. He'd only get near the MLB minimum while under team control, although his arbitration years could be quite interesting if he can pull off both roles. I think folks are overstating the injury risk here, especially in his early years.
   32. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 14, 2017 at 01:34 PM (#5531598)
I feel that playing both ways would hinder his expertise in either area. Athletes specialize to reach their potential.
   33. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 14, 2017 at 01:39 PM (#5531601)
He is specializing - he's playing baseball exclusively.
   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 14, 2017 at 01:50 PM (#5531611)
Using an elite two way player as both a pitcher and a regular hitter or position player is just begging for a career ending or at least altering injury.

If he's really that good at both, pick one and make him stick there.


But it's more likely he's just good at one or both. If he's a 3-4 WAR hitter and 3-4 WAR pitcher, you make him elite by letting him do both.

The incremental injury risk of Otani DH-ing 100 games a year is practically nil. And if he gets hurt as a pitcher, which is quite probable, he's got a lot more value as a hitter if he has been playing regularly in the years before the injury.
   35. You're a clown, RMc! I'm tired of it! Posted: September 14, 2017 at 06:11 PM (#5531958)
Maybe, but nobody's going to put their career on the line just so fanboys can say, "HAI GUYZ HE'S HITTING AND PITCHING TOO OMG LOL!"

Oh please. Do you think that Otani considers that playing both ways - something he has done all of his life, and many MLB players did into their early 20s - is putting his career on the line?


I meant no General Manager is going to put their career on the line. Owners don't like it when their bazillion-dollar golden boys get hurt, and when they do, people get fired.

And maybe Otani's done it all his life, but he ain't done it in the majors, home of the very best players on the planet. Sure, maybe he can hit well and pitch well in Japan, but it's a little harder in MLB, with an endless battery of guys who can throw ~100mph, and batters with tree trunks for arms.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see Otani (or somebody) do this, if for no other reason than I'd like to see how OOTP handles it.
   36. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 14, 2017 at 06:30 PM (#5531967)
Owners don't like it when their bazillion-dollar golden boys get hurt, and when they do, people get fired.

But Two-Way Otani won't be a "bazillion-dollar golden boy" at the start of his MLB career. Because of an illegal conspiracy in restraint of trade the international bonus pool rules, Otani will only cost a bit more than a top draft choice, assuming he signs with a team with extra bonus pool funds available, or less, and then earn around the MLB minimum while under team control until he hits arbitration or proves worthy of a contract extension. The signing team can experiment a bit with Otani before he becomes expensive.
   37. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 14, 2017 at 07:12 PM (#5531998)
If he's really that good at both, pick one and make him stick there.
But it's more likely he's just good at one or both.
Don't tell Otani that. He's made it very clear that he only wants to sign with a team that's going to play him both ways. The average AL DH hits .254/.328/.452, but really, it's just Nelson Cruz, Encarnacion, and a bunch of randos and has-beens that nobody cares about. If Otani can be an above-the-mean DH AND pitch, hell yeah, I'd let him play both sides.
   38. Greg Pope Posted: September 14, 2017 at 08:07 PM (#5532023)
Owners don't like it when their bazillion-dollar golden boys get hurt, and when they do, people get fired.

Cite?
   39. PreservedFish Posted: September 14, 2017 at 08:15 PM (#5532027)
Yeah, I think it's easier to make the case that owners are less risk averse than are their employees.
   40. Lassus Posted: September 14, 2017 at 09:29 PM (#5532089)
I think he has complete control.

Oh. Not sure why he wouldn't just tell all the AL teams to go #### themselves then, I guess.
   41. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 14, 2017 at 09:34 PM (#5532095)
Oh. Not sure why he wouldn't just tell all the AL teams to go #### themselves then, I guess.

Because he can bat more with the DH available.

Much better to get 5 DH PA in 80-100 games than 3 PA in 32 starts.
   42. PreservedFish Posted: September 14, 2017 at 09:40 PM (#5532104)
Yeah, I think the AL is what makes sense. Especially given that many teams use a roving cast of characters at the DH position. Giving Otani like 50% of the starts at DH is no sweat.
   43. You're a clown, RMc! I'm tired of it! Posted: September 14, 2017 at 09:45 PM (#5532111)
He's made it very clear that he only wants to sign with a team that's going to play him both ways.


"We want you to pick one, pitching or hitting."
"No! I'll go back to Japan!"
[Huge money-filled truck backs up next to Otani]
"Um, OK."

Owners don't like it when their bazillion-dollar golden boys get hurt, and when they do, people get fired.

Cite?


Er, how about 100+ years of professional baseball, a business so conservative it makes Rush Limbaugh look like a Commie?
   44. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 14, 2017 at 09:47 PM (#5532112)
[Huge money-filled truck backs up next to Otani]

They cant' do that. The most he can get is <$10M. He'd make far more playing in Japan for two more years, and then coming over.

He is going to be so underpaid, he can dictate whatever terms he wants.
   45. Lassus Posted: September 14, 2017 at 11:26 PM (#5532185)
Yeah, I think the AL is what makes sense. Especially given that many teams use a roving cast of characters at the DH position. Giving Otani like 50% of the starts at DH is no sweat.

I suppose. But I think it's likelier he wouldn't be the the best option at DH for that 50%, and at least in the NL he'd have guaranteed ABs.
   46. Sunday silence Posted: September 15, 2017 at 02:35 AM (#5532225)
why would you want him in the AL if he can bat well? The whole pt of the DH is to limit AB to pitchers being a good hitting pitcher and putting him the AL will automatically be losing like what 60-75 AB? or something?

Because he can bat more with the DH available.

Much better to get 5 DH PA in 80-100 games than 3 PA in 32 starts.


Oh? Is he not able to play the field effectively? I admit Idid not read the article and I have no info on him. If he cant play the field I get that, but if he can play the field then you would want to use him as P who bats.

You should still be able to use the DH position for guys who cannot play the field. It seems to me if OTani was an able bodied fielder who's playing DH in the AL arent you just wasting a roster spot on an aging slugger who cant play the field at all? I dont think your math quite works here, but maybe I am missing something.


One interesting thing you could do is if say hes in the NL. Lets say the LF bats 6th and Otani,P bats 7th. Otani is tiring and you want to replace him. He makes the last out of the 5th inn. he moves to LF and you put a new pitcher in the 7th position. if Otani can play more than one OF position than you might have a lot of flexibility in hiding the next pitcher on a 2 for 1 switch.

In reality he will be viewed either primarily as a hitter, or primarily as a pitcher.


This is a very strange assumption to me but maybe I am not getting the context as you hypothesized some number of AB and pitching appearances just before that perhaps you mean something else? Cause I dont understand why someone who could be successful at both would suddenly be regarded as one or the other. And are you referring to fans here or management? maybe you can elaborate.

Did people suddenly start thinking of Babe Ruth as not a pitcher so they wouldnt let him pitch or something? I just dont understand where you suddenly come up with this notion that he will be perceived as one or the other..that just seems like you made that up.

Bucky Walters of CIN was another guy who converted to pitcher I am not sure how well these comparisons are but maybe it turned out he couldnt do both at the same time...I dunno.
   47. Sunday silence Posted: September 15, 2017 at 02:52 AM (#5532227)
the scouting report that is linked to in the article indicates that has played corner OF, and some scouts think he could play there in the majors. It seems suggest that he's only been used as DH in japan league and so not many have seen him play the field. RF would be idea because of his arm.

As a pitcher he sounds scary good, hes only 21, has an assortment of pitches and blazing speed.

Suffered a hammy this spring and an ankle injury last fall...
   48. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 15, 2017 at 10:36 AM (#5532329)
Oh? Is he not able to play the field effectively? I admit Idid not read the article and I have no info on him. If he cant play the field I get that, but if he can play the field then you would want to use him as P who bats.

The idea is to minimize the chance of an injury while he's serving as a batter.

You should still be able to use the DH position for guys who cannot play the field. It seems to me if OTani was an able bodied fielder who's playing DH in the AL arent you just wasting a roster spot on an aging slugger who cant play the field at all? I dont think your math quite works here, but maybe I am missing something.

You're saving a roster spot by not having to carry that aging slugger. If your #2 SP can also cover 2/3 of your DH PAs (30 games when he's starting, plus another 70-80), you can use regulars whom you are trying to rest to fill the remainder, so you don't need a DH. That gives you an extra roster spot.

the scouting report that is linked to in the article indicates that has played corner OF, and some scouts think he could play there in the majors. It seems suggest that he's only been used as DH in japan league and so not many have seen him play the field. RF would be idea because of his arm.

I don't think you want an ace starter unleashing max effort throws from RF while cold.

   49. Nasty Nate Posted: September 15, 2017 at 10:45 AM (#5532338)
Well, whether or not he should play DH or OF from the team's perspective, it goes back to your #44: if he wants to be used a certain way, he will be able to find a team willing to try it.
   50. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 15, 2017 at 11:08 AM (#5532364)
Well, whether or not he should play DH or OF from the team's perspective, it goes back to your #44: if he wants to be used a certain way, he will be able to find a team willing to try it.

Right. I'm just thinking that since he's mistly DH'd in Japan, he'd be happy with that here.
   51. Nasty Nate Posted: September 15, 2017 at 11:13 AM (#5532369)
Right. I'm just thinking that since he's mistly DH'd in Japan, he'd be happy with that here.
That's plausible.

On the other hand, he played in a DH league in Japan with no choice in the matter, and so he might want to play in the NL here so he could hit in games he started as a pitcher. I guess we have no idea what he wants, except that it is likely he wants to be a 2-way player.
   52. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 15, 2017 at 11:44 AM (#5532389)
On the other hand, he played in a DH league in Japan with no choice in the matter, and so he might want to play in the NL here so he could hit in games he started as a pitcher. I guess we have no idea what he wants, except that it is likely he wants to be a 2-way player.

Why wouldn't he be able to hit in games where he starts as the pitcher in the AL? The DH is optional.

I was assuming that in the AL he'd bat in his starts, then take a day off, DH the next 2 games, day off, and then start.

He'd get roughly 50-60% of the PAs of a full-time player.
   53. PreservedFish Posted: September 15, 2017 at 11:46 AM (#5532390)
Why wouldn't he be able to hit in games where he starts as the pitcher in the AL? The DH is optional.


Does that require the team to use pinch-hitters for late inning ABs? You can't activate the DH halfway through the game.
   54. DCA Posted: September 15, 2017 at 11:51 AM (#5532396)
I think the SP/DH combo makes the most sense.

But I wonder if there's value in putting him in the OF so that you can occasionally have him pitch to a high-leverage batter or two. E.g. bases loaded two outs in the 3rd inning with your #4 starter on the mound. Rotate in Otani to strike the guy out and then the regular SP can continue in the 4th.

And if he doesn't cut it as a SP, he could always play the common college role of RF/closer. It's only 3 games but he hasn't pitched well so far this season (9 BB, 10 K in 10.1 IP).
   55. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 15, 2017 at 11:53 AM (#5532399)
Does that require the team to use pinch-hitters for late inning ABs? You can't activate the DH halfway through the game.

Yes. But is that really a problem one day out of five? Relievers don't pitch more than one inning anyway. And, you have an extra bat on the bench b/c Otani is effectively DH-ing that game.

If that's the price to get Otani on a bargain-basement deal, I think any AL team should gladly pay it.
   56. PreservedFish Posted: September 15, 2017 at 11:54 AM (#5532400)
But I wonder if there's value in putting him in the OF so that you can occasionally have him pitch to a high-leverage batter or two. E.g. bases loaded two outs in the 3rd inning with your #4 starter on the mound. Rotate in Otani to strike the guy out and then the regular SP can continue in the 4th.


How does he warm up?
   57. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 15, 2017 at 11:55 AM (#5532401)
But I wonder if there's value in putting him in the OF so that you can occasionally have him pitch to a high-leverage batter or two. E.g. bases loaded two outs in the 3rd inning with your #4 starter on the mound. Rotate in Otani to strike the guy out and then the regular SP can continue in the 4th.

I don't think you want to bring a star pitcher into the game cold to face a batter. Way too much inury risk.
   58. Nasty Nate Posted: September 15, 2017 at 11:56 AM (#5532403)
Why wouldn't he be able to hit in games where he starts as the pitcher in the AL? The DH is optional.
Good point.

I wonder if he hit when starting games in Japan as pitcher. Anyone know?
   59. Rally Posted: September 15, 2017 at 01:09 PM (#5532443)
Does that require the team to use pinch-hitters for late inning ABs? You can't activate the DH halfway through the game.


If he's pitching well and goes 6-7 innings then you probably just need one at bat from a pinch hitter, the guy who would have been the DH if Otani wasn't pitching. Maybe you'll need a second if the spot comes up in the 7th and the 9th or something like that.

The situations where you'd need a bunch of pinch hitters are 1) Otani gets knocked out early or 2) extra innings.

In 1, you are probably losing anyway so no big deal. In 2, that is a real disadvantage, but long extra inning games are not that common.
   60. PreservedFish Posted: September 15, 2017 at 01:12 PM (#5532446)
If Otani were a stud hitter, you would do it. If he were a decent 110 OPS+ platoon DH type, like Seth Smith or something, then it's probably not worthwhile. I think the latter is more likely, but would love to see the former, even if he joins the Yankees.
   61. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 15, 2017 at 01:28 PM (#5532454)
If Otani were a stud hitter, you would do it. If he were a decent 110 OPS+ platoon DH type, like Seth Smith or something, then it's probably not worthwhile.

It doesn't have to be worthwhile on its own. If the price of acquiring Otani on a way-below-market deal is a suboptimal DH arrangement when he starts, that's more than OK.
   62. Hysterical & Useless Posted: September 17, 2017 at 11:56 AM (#5533324)
If hitting is such a strain on a pitcher, why do they let pitchers bat DURING THE GAME in the NL?


Tradition.

The tradition of annoying the people who hate seeing pitchers hit.
   63. Sunday silence Posted: September 17, 2017 at 08:40 PM (#5533554)
It doesnt seem like your getting full value for Otani if your idea is to have him hit for himself as an AL pitcher. SInce the DH would cancel out all or most of any advantage you get. You would obviously get more out of him as a hitting pitcher if he was in the NL where his counter part is hitting like; .150. I dont quite know how to use OPS+ to determine it but if say Otani was 3 WAR as a batter and his NL counter was 0; one might expect a 2% bump in win expectancy for his team due to his hitting vs zero in the AL.

I understand trying to protect him from injury since his greater value appears to be as a pitcher. I'm not sure throwing your arm out making a throw from RF is a major risk but I guess its happened.
   64. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 18, 2017 at 09:33 AM (#5533624)
It doesnt seem like your getting full value for Otani if your idea is to have him hit for himself as an AL pitcher. SInce the DH would cancel out all or most of any advantage you get.

Not if he's a 120 OPS+ hitter. Most teams get much worse than that from the DH.

Also, this isn't about optimal usage. It's about giving Otani what he wants so he signs a wildly below market deal with your team.

If what it takes to get him to sign is that he plays the field every day when he's not pitching, you give that to him. He's only going to cost $30M. The risk is all on him.
   65. Nasty Nate Posted: September 18, 2017 at 09:38 AM (#5533626)
Also, this isn't about optimal usage. It's about giving Otani what he wants so he signs a wildly below market deal with your team.
It's fun to discuss hypothetical optimal usage. But you are right, he's going to pick which league he plays in.

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