"Oh geez, I don't know," Ottavino told WEEI's "Dale & Keefe" on Friday when asked how he would hold up against Williams. "It's a different era. He played after the Babe so he probably saw a little better pitching than Babe Ruth did. It's hypothetical at this point. I guess it's not worth weighing in. But I feel like I would do just fine."
Williams, who was a 19-time All-Star, finished his career with a .344/.482/.634 slash line, while Ottavino owns a 3.53 ERA with 10.4 K/9 over 10 years in the majors.
Ottavino made headlines in December 2018 when he said he'd "strike out Babe Ruth every time" if he was able to face the New York Yankees icon. The right-hander later admitted he wasn't trying to be disrespectful, but was pointing out the evolution of pitching over the decades.
"If I said Jimmie Foxx maybe that wouldn't have gotten the same reaction," Ottavino said. "But Babe Ruth, a lot of people are gate-keeping around the New York area. People were quick to jump into the debate about that. As soon as I saw what I said was tweeted out there by MLB that I knew something was going to come of it, for sure."
Ottavino pitched for the Yankees for two seasons from 2019-20 before he was dealt to the Red Sox in late January.