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The Los Angels Angels used Friday to make one of the more obvious calls a club could make.
Like most clubs, the Los Angeles Angels are getting ready for Opening Day. The Angels are loaded with talent from pitching to hitting. They have options.
Manager Joe Maddon even surprised some by working Justin Upton out at first base this spring.
Some options, like their Opening Day starter, are a little more obvious though.
Yes, Shohei Ohtani will be the Angels’ Opening Day starter. Of course!
Shohei Ohtani will be Angels Opening Day starter in MVP defense
Ohtani had a tremendous 2021 season. He was the AL MVP, after all. As a pitcher, he went 9-2 in 23 games and 130.1 innings for the Angels. He had 156 strikeouts. The two-way star was also pretty great at the plate too, blasting 46 homers. He hit .257/.372/.592 with a +152 wRC. He had 26 doubles, eight triples, 100 RBI, 26 stolen bases and drew 96 walks.
Per one of the new rules agreed upon in the new CBA reached by the MLB and MLBPA, a pitcher, such as Shohei Ohtani, can remain in the lineup as designated hitter if he’s removed from the game as pitcher. This new rule is aptly named the Shohei Ohtani Rule.
With the designated hitter rule now universal throughout baseball, it will be interesting to see how or if teams will use this rule. There are a number of strong hitting pitchers in the National League that could also benefit from this rule, Madison Bumgarner and Adam Wainwright for example.
After a stunning 2021 season, Ohtani earned the great honor of starting the season off right on Opening Day. The 2022 season should be a fun one for the 27-year-old lefty bat and right-handed pitcher.
Opening Day in Major League Baseball is already very special. But, baseball fans around the world will get quite the treat on April 7 when Ohtani takes the mound for the Angels.