Los Angeles Angels general manager Billy Eppler indicated Wednesday that the club hasn't yet finalized how Shohei Ohtani will be utilized in the early going, denying an earlier report that said the two-way phenom would start at DH on Opening Day.
"That is incorrect," Eppler told MLB.com's Maria Guardado. "We have not laid out plans for anyone at this time."
According to the report, which cited two anonymous, high-ranking Angels executives, Ohtani - who has struggled in his first big-league spring training - was also tentatively scheduled to make his regular-season debut on the mound March 31 in Oakland.
With just over a week to go until Opening Day, however, it appears that Ohtani making the 25-man roster out of spring training isn't a foregone conclusion. As final cuts loom, Ohtani owns a 27.00 ERA over two Cactus League starts with a .107 batting average through 28 at-bats, and Angels manager Mike Scioscia was non-committal about his status prior to his most recent outing.
"We're not going to get into roster decisions," Scioscia said. "I can only say that Shohei's talent is real. Obviously we believe in it. We anticipate him being ready to both pitch and hit when the season starts. And we're going to work hard to reach that goal from now until we start the season. That's what we're going to focus on."