Shohei Ohtani on Playing Time with Angels: &#x

2018-04-13 10:29:41

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 10:  Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels prepares to bat against the Texas Rangers in the ninth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 10, 2018 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Los Angeles Angels dual-threat sensation Shohei Ohtani said Wednesday he'd like to receive more consistent playing time.

Ohtani, who's shined as both a starting pitcher and designated hitter during the early stages of his rookie season, has been left out of the lineup on the days before and after he pitches.

"It's the beginning of the season, so I think they are being pretty careful with me right now," he told reporters via 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."

Ohtani has posted a .364/.417/.773 triple-slash line with three home runs in six games as a hitter. He's compiled a 2.08 ERA and 0.46 WHIP with 18 strikeouts in 13 innings across two starts as a pitcher.

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The 23-year-old Japanese superstar also said Wednesday he meets with the Angels' medical team daily to determine whether he should be in the lineup.

In February, manager Mike Scioscia said pitching would be the focus for Ohtani's first year, per Jerry Crasnick of

"He's going to get the most looks as a pitcher," Scioscia said. "If he can pitch to his capabilities, that will always influence your team more than what he would do hitting. But that's not to say he won't have a chance to be a difference-maker on the offensive end, too."

Given that stance and the three-time Nippon Professional Baseball All-Star's early success, it's unlikely the Angels will mess with the formula for resting him. That's especially true since the team has raced out to a 10-3 record.

Scioscia and the front office could be forced to make some tough decisions during the second half of the season if Los Angeles is in the heat of a playoff race, though. It would be difficult to leave Ohtani's bat out of the lineup for about half the team's games down the stretch.

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