Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani has been fortunate enough to display his unbelievable talents at nearly every ballpark in Major League Baseball, most recently on his trip to Yankee Stadium in their road series against the New York Yankees.
As the Angels aim to finish out their East Coast trip on a positive note, they kicked off their three-game set with the Yankees on Tuesday. In his career at Yankee Stadium, Ohtani has largely struggled, but in the first inning against Clarke Schmidt, he deposited a third pitch blast to open the scoring.
The Angels would go on to secure a much-needed 5-2 victory, on the shoulders of a lights-out bullpen performance and Ohtani’s early game power stroke. Although the confines of Yankee Stadium haven’t been great to his numbers, he discussed his appreciation when competing as a visiting player via Sarah Valenzuela of the L.A. Times:
It’s a beautiful field, passionate fans. I always look forward to playing here. It’s really fun playing here.
In his career as a starter at Yankee Stadium, Ohtani is 0-1 with an ERA of 27.00 in 3.2 innings. But in the ballpark where the most famed two-way star made his mark in MLB history, his presence alone is incredible for baseball being that it was a huge anniversary in addition to Babe Ruth hitting a homer:
I knew it was the 100th anniversary, but I didn’t know Babe homered.
There’s been much speculation of Ohtani’s free agent destinations after this season, and being that Yankee Stadium isn’t a kind place with him on the mound, maybe that factors into his decision as a competitor. He’s stated his desire to play for a West Coast team and many would think that the Los Angeles Dodgers are the next in line if the Angels don’t lock him in.
Shohei Ohtani wants to cut down his walk rate
Although he’s posted a 2-0 record with a 0.86 ERA in 21 innings pitched, and nearly every top advanced metric has him amongst the best starters in the league, Ohtani has continued to struggle with the free pass.
He grades out in the 10th percentile in walk rate and ninth in chase rate, both are curable, but absolutely worth noting moving forward. However, he’s still producing whiffs at a high clip and is figuring out how to miss barrels while working from behind in counts.
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