Spring training 2018: What to make of Shohei Ohtani's MLB debut as a pitcher

The Angels back in December signed Japanese ace/two-way star Shohei Ohtani to a bargain contract (a bargain because of the cap on international spending and Ohtani's exposure to those rules). On Saturday, Ohtani made his much-ballyhooed MLB debut against the Brewers in Cactus League play. While Ohtani has significant promise as a hitter and will surely see some time at the plate this spring, he likely carries more long-term value as a pitcher. 

So he got the start as a pitcher on Saturday, and here's what he did against a Milwaukee lineup that was pretty much "split squad" in quality: 1 1/3 innings, two hits, two runs (one earned), a walk, two strikeouts, and a loud home run allowed to Keon Broxton. Ohtani uncorked a wild pitch, too.

Ohtani faced seven batters and battled his command throughout (12 of his 26 first-inning offerings were balls). Nonetheless, he did show off his impressive arsenal as much as possible, with his fastball clocking in as high as 97 mph. Both his splitter and curveball showed their utility as well: 

022418-laa-ohtani-curve.gif
Ohtan's curve for a strike.  MLBAM

Overall, Ohtani looked like a talented pitcher having an uneven dry run. Nothing gained, nothing lost. So goes spring.

Back to your regularly scheduled indifference about the exhibition season. 

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories