How Much Can Shohei Ohtani Play?

Will playing everyday ruin the rookie?

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How Much Can Shohei Ohtani Play?

Tommy Monaghan, Editor

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When he’s played, Shohei Ohtani has been great this year. Without getting injured, Ohtani has only played in 11 of 17 Angels games this year. He started three as a starting pitcher, posting a 3.60 ERA and 19 strikeouts in just 15 innings. He also started 7 at DH and came in once as a pinch-hitter. He has a 1.191 OPS and three home runs on 33 plate appearances. He’s been great, and Angels fans want him to play more.

Ohtani has been a big part of the Angels’ 13-4 start (photo via Sporting News)

Assuming his blister last night against the Red Sox is nothing serious, Ohtani is on pace to pitch about 150 innings and have 300 plate appearances. No one has had that workload since Babe Ruth in 1918, and only two players had it before him (Doc Crandall in 1914 and Harry Howell in 1902). Even when two-way players were much more common, only three had the workload that Ohtani is on track to see. The Angels want to play him more, too. If you add that to the risk from Ohtani’s recent ankle surgery and UCL damage in his right elbow, him playing more sounds like a terrible idea.

Junior Thomas Flaherty said “Ohtani is terrible.” Junior John Goldszer said “he needs to play more as a batter, he got destroyed by the Red Sox last night. I don’t care if he can throw the ball 100mph, he can’t pitch well enough to waste his batting.”