A pitcher who can hit?

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Anaxagoras
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A pitcher who can hit?

Post by Anaxagoras »

There was Babe Ruth, and as far as I know very few others. And he's Japanese!! :upsidedown:

Of course, Ruth gave up pitching because he was so good at hitting. But he was no slouch at pitching.

He's going to the Angels.

http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/2170 ... hei-ohtani
Shohei Ohtani is an international superstar along the lines of Ichiro Suzuki, and a 23-year-old talent with the long-term horizon of a Mike Trout or Bryce Harper. Most important, Ohtani wants to be a pitcher and a hitter on a regular basis. With the possible exception of Babe Ruth and Brooks Kieschnick, few players have aspired to that level of versatility.

So before Ohtani went about the business of picking a team, agent Nez Balelo and CAA took an unusual step and sent a questionnaire asking teams to outline their plans, philosophies and systems in place to help make this unprecedented partnership work.

"I didn't think the questionnaire was a big deal, because teams already had figured out they better have answers to those questions," said the general manager for a team that did not make Ohtani's final cut. "If you couldn't figure out what was going to be important, then you had no shot."

On Friday afternoon, the mystery came to an end. Ohtani and CAA announced that he had picked the Los Angeles Angels over six other finalists. Come spring training, Ohtani will join Trout and surefire Hall of Famer Albert Pujols in making Tempe Diablo Stadium a star-powered Cactus League destination.

The Angels can take gratification in having outlasted the competition. But in some respects, the hard work is just beginning. Here are some hurdles Ohtani and his new team will have to traverse in his transition from Japanese sensation to Major League Baseball fixture.
Doctor X
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by Doctor X »

I believe he insisted on being the only Japanese player on a team.

--J.D.
Anaxagoras
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by Anaxagoras »

I didn't hear that. I assume that means the Angels don't have another Japanese player? Kind of a weird condition. But apparently he was free to choose pretty much any team that made a bid and he didn't want to go to an east coast team.

There may be an investigation:

https://deadspin.com/mlbs-stupid-rules- ... 1821128785
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by Doctor X »

I heard that is why he did not want to go to the Seamen Mariners which, nowadays, is basically a stop for Japanese Original tourists.

--J.D.
Anaxagoras
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by Anaxagoras »

Watching him pitch right now before I have to leave for work. He's perfect through 5 innings.
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by Anaxagoras »

Well, I had my doubts about whether he would live up to the hype, but although the season has barely begun, so far at least he has had a very very impressive start, both as a pitcher and as a hitter.

He has made two starts as a pitcher and won both starts. In his second start today, he didn't allow a hit or a walk until the 7th inning. He also struck out 12. I watched some of this game before going to work this morning and he had a wicked splitter going that was making lots of batters swing and miss. Also a 4-seamer that touched 99 or 100 on the radar multiple times. Nobody seemed to be able to hit either of them. He also has a slider and a curve, but didn't use them very much.
Meanwhile on the days when he wasn't pitching he has been the DH 4 times and homered in 3 of those games. So he's been making an impact both at the plate and on the mound.

Shohei Ohtani flirts with perfect game in mesmerizing first home start
ANAHEIM, Calif. – Los Angeles Angels right-hander Shohei Ohtani, the two-way player from Japan making his second major league start, struck out 12 Oakland A’s across seven shutout innings on Sunday in a 6-1 win. Pitching for the first time at Angel Stadium, Ohtani did not allow a hit until there was one out in the seventh inning.

In 2 1/2 breathtaking hours of power and finesse, the 23-year-old Ohtani mixed fastballs that reached 100 mph with a curveball that fluttered at 68 mph. In between, Ohtani frustrated A’s hitters with an array of split-fingered fastballs and sliders.

He retired the first 19 hitters in order, 11 by strikeout. Only three balls reached the outfield. By the fifth inning, Angels fans rose and cheered two-strike counts, urging Ohtani forward, celebrating his dominance.

Attempting to become the first regular two-way player of significance in nearly a century, an effort that has brought him recognition as “the Japanese Babe Ruth”, Ohtani is batting .389 with three home runs in four games as the Angels designated-hitter. As a pitcher, he is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA, with 18 strikeouts in 14 innings.
Apparently 25 swing-and-misses (not counting foul balls).

I don't know if you can actually watch this video, but it's a condensed version of the game on MLB.com:

https://www.mlb.com/video/cg-oaklaa-4818/c-1918944883
Doctor X
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by Doctor X »

Yet.

Due to Some Plan no one can fathom, the Tampa Bay DEVIL Rays are "pitching bullpen" as in they basically approach some games with a bull pen. How does this work?

They gave up 6 runs in the 8th inning with two outs to erase a 7-2 lead into a 7-8 loss.

How is this relevant?

Their pitchers are batting. I would write "hitting," but that would imply they actually make contact with the ball.

Back to this guy. See if he lasts a season.

--J.D.
Anaxagoras
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by Anaxagoras »

These things do happen in baseball. Runs often come in bunches. There's no way to "take a knee" to run out the clock like in football, you have to make outs or it's not over.

Point taken though, he still has to prove he can be good for a whole season. Everyone has a slump eventually. But at least he got off to a good start, which is something.
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by Doctor X »

Seriously, I have nothing against him. "Back in the Day," though, you could see it happening. Nowadays, things have been specialized, and "teams know you" so they can decide how to pitch to you. MLB pitcher end up devoting their time to what makes them money and keeps them on a team: pitching.

So out of curiosity, Highest Batting Averages for Pitchers in the DH Ear, and it just does not compare.

Looking up the "most hits by a pitcher" kept getting me "most hit by pitcher or "most batters hit." I suppose, by default, Babe Ruth gets "most home runs" since he was only surpassed by Hank Aaron.

As a Glorious Red Sox fan I use to torment MFYs fans that, for years, "Dice-K" Matsuzaka had MOAR RBIs THAN A-FRAUD McSLAPPY!11!!!11 IN THE POAST GAMES!!11!!

He plated two in the 2007 WS.

Excuse me . . . I need a moment. . . .

--J.D.
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by Anaxagoras »

Yep. I'm pretty sure all of those pitchers on that list were National League pitchers, because you need a minimum of 50 PAs to qualify. And to be fair, I don't think Ohtani has 50 PAs yet. By the end of the season he should probably have some sort of American League record at the very least, because generally pitchers never hit in American League games except on very rare occasions, or during interleague play when they play away games at National League teams. (And other than the World Series, there was no interleague play prior to 1997.)
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by Anaxagoras »

Are you going to be watching the Red Sox-Angels game today? I'll be at work so I can't watch but I'll follow the progress.

Should be an interesting one for a few reasons: Ohtani is pitching. He was going to pitch on Sunday, but that game was postponed for weather. Both teams are off to very hot starts. The Angels are 13-3, the Sox 13-2 so far. So should be a good game. Of course, anything can happen in baseball.
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by shemp »

Leadoff hitter Mookie Betts took him deep in the first.

He did it for the Mookie! Did it for the Mookie! Did it for the Mookie!
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by shemp »

Ohtani has struggled. 66 pitches in 2 innings. Sox up 3-0. His off-speed stuff is not impressive and his control is poor.
Last edited by shemp on Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by shemp »

And that's it for him. 2 innings, 3 earned runs, 66 pitches, 34 strikes.

Edit: And the Sox jump all over his replacement with 3 homers, 8-0 middle of the 3rd.
Last edited by shemp on Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
Anaxagoras
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by Anaxagoras »

Apparently they didn't even send him out there for the third.

Just not his best night I guess.
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by shemp »

I bet a lot of people in Japan changed TV channels quickly.
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by Anaxagoras »

Probably, yeah. It's a workday here for most people anyway. It's still just 12:30 in the afternoon on a Wednesday. Game started at 11:07 Japan time.
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by shemp »

It's reported now that Ohtani developed a blister.

On the local telecast, Johnny Gomes is in the booth and showed the differences between the Japanese and American balls. The Japanese ball is rougher and slightly smaller. So I can see where it will take some time for Ohtani to get used to it. When Daisuke Matsuzaka came over to the Sox in 2007, he had a so-so first season (15-12, 4.40), then he was great (18-3, 2.90) in 2008. Then he wrecked his arm and went south fast.
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by Doctor X »

I thought he pitched well. . . .

--J.D.
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Anaxagoras
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by Anaxagoras »

3 homers on the night for Betts. Good thing I have him on my fantasy team.

Unfortunately he's one of the few bright spots so far.
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by Doctor X »

Otani batted well tonight.





何?

--J.D.
Anaxagoras
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by Anaxagoras »

The Angels were looking very good against the likes of Oakland, Texas and Kansas City.

Then this happened.

Still a lot of games left to play. It's only April. :)
Doctor X
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by Doctor X »

Funny, that was similar to what critics said about the Red Sox. KC = Devil Rays and Oakland = Marlins. I guess Houston ~ MFYs.

As in "they haven't played a REAL team!"

Well . . . now the Angels have.






In the rain.

--J.D.

P.S. And this is my 65,432th Post!
P.P.S. Which is significant.
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by Grammatron »

Notice me senpai!
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by Doctor X »

Damn'd Nips invadin' our sports!

And I thought Trump would Make America Great!

:freedom:

--J.D.
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by Doctor X »

http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u264 ... 129ba7.gif

--J.D.
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by Pyrrho »

Link:

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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by shemp »

30 bucks for a pancake!? I'll stick with Denny's.
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by Doctor X »

Can Verlander hit?

--J.D.
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by Anaxagoras »

http://www.espn.com/mlb/video?gameId=380825103
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by Anaxagoras »

Looks like he may need Tommy John surgery, but he can still hit. The Angels are pretty much out of the playoff race.

After arm surgery recommended, Ohtani has big night at plate
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Shohei Ohtani homered twice on a huge night at the plate after getting bad news about his pitching arm, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Texas Rangers 9-3 on Wednesday.

Perhaps headed for Tommy John surgery, the two-way rookie sensation went 4 for 4 with three RBI, four runs and a stolen base to power the Angels. About two hours before the game, the team announced Ohtani has new damage in his right elbow and ligament-replacement surgery has been recommended.
He's a right-handed pitcher, but a left-handed batter. That's slightly unusual, but then there's not many pitchers who are known for being able to bat well. Babe Ruth was the most famous one, but they eventually decided that he's more valuable as a full-time position player in the lineup every day, so they converted him to an outfielder. I wonder if something like that is in Ohtani's future. He had an over-100 mph fastball, but throwing that hard also puts a lot of stress on the arm.
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by Anaxagoras »

Ohtani will finish out the season at DH and decide after the season whether to have the surgery.

http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/2460 ... hn-surgery

It doesn't seem to be affecting his hitting at all as he just hit another homer against the White Sox in a game that's happening right now. Most homers by a Japanese rookie and he hasn't even been an everyday player for most of the year.

http://www.espn.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=380907104

He likely won't be able to pitch next year whether he has the surgery or not, so maybe this is the end of his career as a pitcher, although his baseball career should continue.

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/279 ... 0-hr-power
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Re: A pitcher who can hit?

Post by Doctor X »

He hits into inning-ending outs with the tying run on third and the winning run on second very well.










何?

– J.D.