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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Shohei Ohtani, Angels undaunted by rocky spring | USA Today

Ohtani will be on the Angels’ opening-day roster, two high-ranking Angels executives told USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity since no roster decisions need to be revealed until March 29. He’s tentatively scheduled to pitch their third game of the season, March 31, against the Athletics at Oakland Coliseum. He also is scheduled to be in their opening-day lineup as their starting DH.

Ohtani’s roster spot will come in spite of his unsightly 16.20 ERA in two spring-training games, an exhibition against the Tijuana Toros and one minor-league game - yielding 15 earned runs and 18 hits in 8 1/3 innings. He has been worse at the plate, hitting .111 with three singles in 28 at-bats, snapping a 0-for-14 skid on Tuesday with a single to left field.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 21, 2018 at 03:55 PM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, shohei ohtani

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   1. wjones Posted: March 21, 2018 at 05:03 PM (#5641172)
So, he's Dauntless.
   2. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: March 21, 2018 at 05:09 PM (#5641174)
I've gotta say that while I've weighed in on a couple of the other Ohtani threads I haven't really looked at the numbers but...holy hell. I mean it's spring training and caveat, caveat and that other caveat but dear god.
   3. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 21, 2018 at 05:21 PM (#5641183)
The Angels have been very cautious with him, but given the calendar, it's time to give him more PAs and more innings. The degree of difficulty for what he's doing being what it is, he needs that extra time to make adjustments.
   4. BDC Posted: March 21, 2018 at 05:33 PM (#5641197)
it's time to give him more PAs and more innings

I suggest April 9th and 11th against the Rangers. I bought tickets in no small part so I could see Ohtani (ideally pitch in one and DH in the other, though I knew that was a longshot).

And this is not some sort of snark. I hope he's great. Heck, I hope Albert Pujols rebounds this year. I would rather lose to great players than watch nonentities.
   5. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: March 21, 2018 at 05:36 PM (#5641200)
I've gotta say that while I've weighed in on a couple of the other Ohtani threads I haven't really looked at the numbers but...holy hell. I mean it's spring training and caveat, caveat and that other caveat but dear god.


he's been awful. as a neutral observer rooting for intrigue -- I'm intrigued. I will be watching his first start and that will be the first non White Sox involved Angels game I've watched since the Angels were in the WS.
   6. bfan Posted: March 21, 2018 at 05:49 PM (#5641211)
Somewhere between "spring training stats are as good as gold" and "spring training stats have no meaning at all" must lie the truth. As was covered in another thread on this same topic and subject, when the stats, one way or another, are backed up by the eye test and scouts analysis (either way, really: some guy looks like he is throwing his fastball 87 MPH or he looks lost against any curve-ball; or, on the other side, some guys says he is in the best shape of his life and he looks more cut and he hits 3 triples in spring training), it seems difficult to ignore or down-play the stats. Yes, Freddie Freeman as a 28 year old can hit, so him hitting .125 in spring training (if he did) has little meaning. But a guy who has never hit MLB pitching, and looks like he cannot hit MLB pitching, maybe just isn't ready yet to hit MLB pitching.
   7. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: March 21, 2018 at 05:58 PM (#5641217)
I would rather lose to great players than watch nonentities.

From the looks of the Rangers roster this year, you'll get to do lots of both!
   8. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 21, 2018 at 06:03 PM (#5641222)
You’d need a domed stadium to avoid a burn that bad.
   9. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 21, 2018 at 06:15 PM (#5641233)
You’d need a domed stadium to avoid a burn that bad.


But that needs to be funded by the wealthier teams in the league because that's only fair.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: March 21, 2018 at 07:28 PM (#5641251)
He has been worse at the plate

No ... I don't think any level of hitting ineptitude can match the awfulness of a 16.20 ERA -- including against a Mexican and a minor-league team no less.

B-R has tracked just his "official" spring outings amounting to 20 BF with 9 hits, 3 HR, 2 BB and an ERA of 27 ... so a 500/550/833+ line against. Neither sample matters in the grand scheme of things but I think I'll take 32 PA of 107/219/107 from one of my hitters over that from one of my pitchers any day. That pitcher might have easily just lost you 4 games, the hitter's just in a slump and probably hasn't cost you more than one game.

Having given up 9 runs (8 earned) in those 2.2 innings, that means he gave up just 7 earned runs in his 5.1 innings against the Toros and the minors. That's an ERA of just 11.81 so there's hope! :-)
   11. Walt Davis Posted: March 21, 2018 at 07:52 PM (#5641253)
For kicks, let's try to quantify that.

There are no exact matches for Ohtani's batting performance among 2017 pitchers but Adam Conley of the Marlins comes close with 32 PA and a line of 125/192/125. That was good for -5 Rbat and, if we turn him into a DH, about -0.6 WAR.

And WAR says it's close -- which is clearly WAR's mistake and not mine!!! :-) Antonio Bastardo put up 9 innings of 15.00 ERA and was whacked with just -0.7 WAR. Even Chris Heston with a 16.5 ERA in 6 IP and a line against of 455/526/818 was only -0.5 WAR, so also about -0.7 or -0.75 in Ohtani's innings.

If you're like me, you're wondering how 9 innings and 15 runs or even limited to a FIP over 11 doesn't add up to 1 win given away. Bastardo was 10 runs below replacement but apparently surrendering his runs in low-leverage situations improves his contribution to the team by 2-3 runs. Well done Antonio only allowing yourself to pitch when it didn't matter!

Semi-serious proposal ... for pitcher WAR (at least pitcher bWAR) how about we replace WAAadj with "usage WAR" -- a pitcher's "value" then reverts to RAA + Rrep (converted to WAR) and then you can choose whether he deserves credit for uWAR or that should go to the manager. I suppose you can do this with WAAadj already but I'd like a more formal (and easier to fathom) separation between how good a pitcher he was (the value he contributed) and how he was used (the value his manager contributed).

By the way, that line from Adam Conley is credited at 0 WAR after the positional adjustment -- i.e. about what an average pitcher does. So Ohtani's batting line is not out of whack if he's going to hit like a pitcher. :-(
   12. PreservedFish Posted: March 21, 2018 at 09:20 PM (#5641297)
Is Pujols moving back to 1B to accommodate Ohtani? Or did the Angels decide it's cool if he rides the bench like half the time?
   13. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: March 21, 2018 at 09:31 PM (#5641304)
Is Pujols moving back to 1B to accommodate Ohtani? Or did the Angels decide it's cool if he rides the bench like half the time?
It's the former. Ohtani will sit against lefties, and Valbuena will play then.
   14. Rally Posted: March 22, 2018 at 09:54 AM (#5641422)
It's the former. Ohtani will sit against lefties, and Valbuena will play then.


Does not sound like an improvement. Last year Valbuena went to the plate only 47 times against lefties, with a .423 OPS+. Small sample size, but for his career he's 81 OPS points better against RHP, a .647 vs LHP.

So against lefties the options will be Pujols, Valbuena hitting without the platoon advantage, or a struggling Ohtani without platoon advantage. Makes me wonder why they traded Cron. They did sign Chris Young as a backup OF. Maybe he'll get some of the DH AB against lefties? Maybe playing OF and giving a half day off to one of the OF regulars?

Otherwise, might as well skip the DH and just let the pitchers hit.
   15. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: March 24, 2018 at 09:21 PM (#5642730)
his unsightly 16.20 ERA (and) hitting .111 with three singles in 28 at-bats

So, basically Tebow, except Tim's not hurting his team by giving up all those runs as a pitcher.
   16. Lassus Posted: March 25, 2018 at 02:07 PM (#5642806)
#1 did not get enough credit for its fabulous ridiculousness. Well done.

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