Shohei Ohtani wants to get in the lineup more often.
Two-way star Shohei Ohtani has only played in eight of the Angels’ first 13 games, and he’s hoping that trend will change.
Ohtani, who went 1-for-3 with an RBI in Wednesday’s win over the Rangers, said after the game that he hopes to be in the lineup more often.
“It’s the beginning of the season, so I think they are being pretty careful with me right now,” Ohtani told reporters through a translator. “Once the season gets tougher and the schedule gets tougher throughout the summer, hopefully I can make them want to play me more. I would like to play more. If not, that’s what it is. I have to follow what they have to say.”
The Angels’ current plan for Ohtani is to have him pitch once a week (typically on Sundays) and bat as the DH in most other games. He will typically be rested on the days before and after he pitches, to limit the strain on his body.
Ohtani is giving the team plenty of reasons to increase his workload, though. In 24 plate appearances thus far, he has a .364 batting average with three homers and eight runs driven in. As a pitcher, he took a perfect game into the seventh inning last weekend against the A’s and has a 2.08 ERA in two starts.
Ohtani’s arrival and insertion into the DH role has forced 38-year-old Albert Pujols, who only played 34 games in the field over the past two seasons, to play first base on a regular basis. On days when Ohtani does not hit, Pujols has moved to DH and the Angels have played Luis Valbuena or Jefry Marte at first.