‘I recruited a pitcher with 15 wins…’ LAA, opening game selection Ohtani for 2 consecutive years

Major League (MLB) Los Angeles Angels Shohei Ohtani (29) will be the starting pitcher for the opening game for the second year in a row. 

MLB.com quoted Angels coach Phil Nevin on the 17th (Korean time) and reported that Ohtani would stand on the mound in the 2023 season opener against the Oakland Athletics on March 31st. Ohtani also pitched in the opening game against the Houston Astros last season (2022). Since 2016, Ohtani is the only Angels pitcher who has been selected for the opening game for two consecutive years. 

Ohtani won the American League (AL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) 메이저놀이터for the 2021 season. He was evaluated as a player with the most competitive performance since MLB legend Babe Ruth. However, the performance of the 2021 season was much better than the pitcher record, which was 9 wins, 2 losses, and an average ERA of 3.18, with 46 home runs, 100 RBIs, and 103 runs scored. 

Ohtani has evolved one step further as a pitcher in the 2022 season. He pitched in 28 games and pitched 166 innings, filling the regulation innings for the first time in his debut, and winning 15 wins (9 losses), breaking the record for most individual wins. His earned run average (2.33) was also a career high.

The Angels acquired Tyler Anderson, who won 15 games last season. However, coach Nevin entrusted Ohtani, an iconic player to the team, to the opening game selection. Of course, Ohtani is objectively the current Angels’ ace. “It’s a great honor,” Ohtani said of his Opening Day start. 

Ohtani will represent Japan at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March. If Japan advances to the final, the competition schedule will be held for about three weeks from the 8th. The league opening game that follows ten days later. Conditioning is key.  

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