How the Angels' depth chart could look with Ohtani
Ohtani's value is tied to his ability to both pitch and hit at high levels. Even though his arm is perceived as his biggest selling point, he should see plenty of at-bats.
Here's a look at how Ohtani could theoretically fit into both the Angels' lineup and starting rotation.
He helps bolster a shaky offense
Ohtani provides the slugging boost the Angels sorely need. Angels' left-handed batters combined for an MLB-worst .378 slugging percentage a season ago, according to ESPN. Over his last two seasons in Japan, Ohtani has slugged .570. His addition gives the lineup a more dynamic look that isn't as righty-heavy.
Ohtani won't play every day due to his use in the rotation, so don't expect him to be in the lineup the day before or after a start. While he may get outfield reps, it's unlikely he'll take playing time away from Trout or Upton. And taking over for Calhoun would reduce the number of left-handed bats in the lineup.
It makes more sense for a carousel at first base/DH. They still employ C.J. Cron, who made 98 appearances at first in 2017. If Ohtani gets the lion's share of starts at DH, Pujols - who's only played 34 games at first in two years - could see increased playing time there.
He's immediately the Angels' best starter
The rotation, even after Ohtani's addition, needs work. Both Richards and Shoemaker are question marks in terms of health. Shoemaker's injuries have been relatively fluky, but Richards has only thrown 62 1/3 innings over the past two seasons because of knee and elbow injuries.
The Angels added a pitcher who can throw a 100-mph fastball at a relative discount, which could leave enough capital to pursue another free-agent arm (Jake Arrieta or Yu Darvish). Despite Ohtani's own injury-prone history, he's immediately the team's best rotation option.
One solution could be to take a page out of the Texas Rangers' plans for Ohtani and employ a six-man rotation. This would both help preserve the pitchers with injury history while also allowing Ohtani to hit more often.