Dual threat Shohei Ohtani ‘would like to play more’ for Angels

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As if Shohei Ohtani hasn’t made a big-enough impact early in his major league career, he wants to do more.

The dual-purpose phenom has appeared in eight of the Angels’ first 13 games — starting twice as a pitcher and five times as designated hitter. nfl jerseys china While the team is resting the 23-year-old rookie on days before and after he pitches, Ohtani is eager to get more playing time.

“I talk to the medical staff every day, and they see how I’m doing, my strength level, to see if I can play that day,” Ohtani told reporters via his translator after the Angels’ 7-2 win on Wednesday night.

“It’s the beginning of the season, so I think they are being pretty careful with me right now. 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, who has a fastball averaging about 99 mph along with a nasty splitter and a biting slider, was 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA and 18 strikeouts over 13 innings while allowing only four hits in his two starts on the mound.

In his first six games with an at-bat, the left-handed slugger hit .364 with three homers and eight RBIs.

Manager Mike Scioscia plans to have Ohtani serve as DH against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday and Friday, with a rest day Saturday before his next scheduled start in the rotation on Sunday.

All of Ohtani’s pitching starts this season have come on six days’ rest.

“He always says he’s ready,” Scioscia said.  “But right now we’re definitely going to protect him as much as we can.

“It’s really trying to balance a little bit of a guy’s ability obviously to swing the bat, and balance that with the need for him to be ready to pitch. The biggest thing is we will be flexible, so it’s not in concrete. We’ll check with him and see when he’s available and we’ll go from there.”