Ohtani will pitch and DH in All-Star Game
Shohei Ohtani's talents will be on full display at the Midsummer Classic.
The two-way superstar will pitch and hit for the American League in next week's All-Star Game at Coors Field, Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon said Monday.
"Shohei is into it," Maddon told reporters, according to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. "It's not like we're trying to push him to do anything. He is into it. Just like he wants to play the day before he pitches and the day he's pitching and the day after. He is totally absorbed into this. We're just trying to figure out the best way to do it."
Maddon and Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash - who's piloting this year's AL squad - have already spoken about a plan for Ohtani. Details about how he'll be used in which innings are still being ironed out.
Ohtani made history on Sunday as the first player to be named as both a pitcher and position player for the All-Star Game. Fans voted him in as the AL's starting designated hitter, and he was selected to the Junior Circuit's pitching staff a few days after voting concluded Thursday.
Using him at both spots could prove complicated, though. When a team moves its DH into the field, it forfeits the spot for the rest of the game, with the pitcher entering the batting order.
Ohtani will look to join some select company when he takes the field in Denver. The last pitcher to get a plate appearance in the contest was Roy Halladay in 2009, and Charles Nagy (1992) is the most recent hurler to record a hit and pitch in an All-Star Game, according to Sarah Langs of MLB.com.
Ohtani entered play Monday leading the majors in homers (31), extra-base hits (52), and slugging percentage (.704), to go along with a 1.070 OPS, 67 RBIs, and 12 stolen bases. As a pitcher, he owns a 3.60 ERA, 3.74 FIP, and 1.27 WHIP with 83 strikeouts across 12 starts.
The 27-year-old will be a busy man next week, as he'll also participate in the Home Run Derby.