Los Angeles Angels chief Joe Maddon said Wednesday that he talked with Ohtani as of late and the two concluded he would not make his next planned beginning in Sunday’s season finale against the Seattle Mariners, who are just a half-game back of the subsequent trump card spot in the American League.
Ohtani, contending with Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for the AL MVP Award, will keep on hitting this week. In any case, his season on the hill will end with a 9-2 record, a 3.18 ERA and 156 strikeouts and 44 strolls in 130⅓ innings.
“There’s really nothing left to prove on the mound,” Maddon said from Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, before the Angels’ 7-2 win over the Rangers. “He’s exceeded expectations on the mound this year. Anyone who thought he would’ve gone 130 innings and put up those kind of numbers — strikeouts to walks, ERA, everything that he’s done — I think that’s sufficient. I really do.”
Ohtani was driving the majors in FanGraphs wins above substitution heading into the last five days of the ordinary season, and has coupled a great pitching line with prevailing hostile numbers, including a .960 OPS, 45 homers and 26 taken bases.
Ohtani, 27, substantiated himself a skilled significant association hitter in 2018 and 2019. In any case, heading into 2021, there were not kidding inquiries concerning whether he could likewise contribute as a pitcher, considering he had as of late gone through Tommy John medical procedure and had incorporated less than 80 expert innings over the past four seasons. Yet, Maddon and first-year senior supervisor Perry Minasian consented to a more liberal arrangement for Ohtani at the beginning of this season, killing earlier limitations that held him back from pitching and hitting around the same time and included off days previously, then after the fact his beginnings.
As the season advanced, the Angels watched Ohtani persistently work on his order as a pitcher. In 11 beginnings following a horrible first inning from Yankee Stadium toward the finish of June, Ohtani contributed a 2.82 ERA with 73 strikeouts and nine strolls in 70⅓ innings. Over his last two trips, against the Mariners and the Oakland Athletics, he permitted three runs in 15 innings and struck out 20 players.
“I think his confidence came up,” Maddon said. “I think he figured out his delivery to the point where he knows where his fastball is going; you saw the splitter. Everything that he did this year I think is just going to permit him to have even more confidence next year, so I wouldn’t ask him to do anything else. If there’s anything he wants to do workout-wise — I’m not certain anything differently because it worked out so well. I would just like to see him replicate it and add some more innings next year. That’s about it.”