After Shohei Ohtani improved upon his 2021 season in which he won his first career Most Valuable Player award, he stepped it up a notch and became one of the best pitchers in all of baseball.
In 28 starts this season, Ohtani went 15-9, with a 2.33 ERA, 2.40 FIP, 1.01 WHIP with a .202 batting average allowed. He elevated his strikeout percentage and lowered his walk rate from last season.
However, he’s been the beneficiary of a modified rotation to mirror his prior workload before coming over to Major League Baseball. What will be interesting is to see if the Angels and general manager Perry Minasian alter that going forward, via Jeff Flecther of the O.C. Register:
“I wouldn’t rule it out,” Minasian said. “But if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. There’s a balance there. Is the risk worth the reward?”
Although it certainly seems the Angels could be better if Ohtani could pitch at the same level, but more often, and also replace some of the starts from No. 6 starters, the Angels aren’t sure it would work that way. They don’t know if Ohtani – or even young pitchers like Patrick Sandoval, Reid Detmers and José Suarez – would pitch as well with less rest.
The Angels haven’t been overly delicate with his usage as Ohtani has grown into the most talented player in all of baseball, and why should they, he’s earned the right to sort of, dictate his terms and how he is deployed.
Now that he’s inked to a new contract heading into 2023.
Angels have no intention of trading Shohei Ohtani
After falling short of expectations, the Angels entered the offseason with many important decisions to make. Among them was figuring out what to do with Shohei Ohtani, who has one year remaining on his contract before entering free agency.
The two-way star was set to go through the arbitration process a final time, but the Angels avoided it by signing him to a one-year, $30 million contract for the 2023 season.
While L.A. has given every indication that they want to contend next year, they still could potentially entertain the idea of trading Ohtani this winter.