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Doggleganger t1_jd6esvo wrote

I'll never understand why Ohtani signed with the Angels. Also, wouldn't it make more sense for him to play in the national league, since he's the rare hitter + pitcher?


LuckyPucks t1_jd6f6wc wrote

Pitchers don't hit in the NL anymore. Both leagues have a DH.


Doggleganger t1_jd6fbr4 wrote

Damn, I'm an outdated old man. When did that change?


LuckyPucks t1_jd6fh57 wrote

They only implemented it last season so it's understandable for some people not to know that rule change.


fzkiz t1_jd720jo wrote

Does that mean they literally can’t hit and pitch in the same game or they don’t have to?


tommypopz t1_jd78xtc wrote

I think they made a rule allowing a pitcher to DH for himself, then stay in the game, just for Shohei


dalnot t1_jd85oii wrote

If they get a pinch hitter in for them, can they still pitch?


tommypopz t1_jd8w648 wrote

I don’t see why not, since the original player is both positions merged, that pinch hitter becomes the DH and the pitcher stays as is. I don’t know if we’ll ever see that happen though, since it’s rare enough in the first, and Shohei’s such a damn good hitter that you’d rarely pinch him. Plus, modern day managerial pitch limits being what they are, one’s likelier to stop pitching before they stop batting.


cdbloosh t1_jd7on3d wrote

They don’t have to. For about 50 years the American League had the DH rule, which allows a different guy to bat in the pitcher’s spot. Technically this is an option but until Ohtani it was an option that was literally always taken, because until Ohtani there hasn’t been a player who is world class at both pitching and hitting in over 100 years. The National League required the pitcher to bat.

As of a few years ago both leagues have the DH now.

MLB also recently implemented an “Ohtani rule” which basically allows the pitcher to DH for himself, meaning he can remain in the game as the DH once he is no longer pitching. Previously if he batted for himself, that would mean the team had chosen for the pitcher to bat instead of using a DH, which is a choice you can’t go back on, so he would have to be removed from the batting lineup once a new pitcher replaced him.


the_quark t1_jd6hgzc wrote

They "temporarily" did it as part of the Coronavirus rule changes. But they just made it temporary.

And yeah, MLB sees all the excitement around Ohtani and their immediate response is "obviously no pitchers should hit."


OneBar1905 t1_jd6lt21 wrote

Universal DH allows Ohtani to hit more often. He can hit every day, rather than just when he pitches.


pspahn t1_jd6ixco wrote

Also, he chose the Angels because they were gonna let him play both ways.


cdbloosh t1_jd7nhqq wrote

It actually made more sense for him to sign with an American League team, for the same reason. Using a DH in a game has always been optional (an option that, until Ohtani, teams basically took 100% of the time), so he could hit when he pitches in either league regardless.

But in the AL he could also DH when he wasn’t pitching, which he could not have done in the NL, he would have had to play the outfield on his off days.

He is by all accounts a pretty good outfielder but the general consensus was that playing outfield full time AND pitching every 5th day would have been too much of an injury risk.

So between the DH rule working in his favor, and the general preference that many Japanese players have to be on the West coast that I assume went into it too, he landed on the Angels.

As someone else said, both leagues have the DH now, but he had no way of knowing that at the time.

MLB also added an “Ohtani rule” a couple years ago that allows the starting pitcher to remain in the game as a DH once they have stopped pitching. It basically just allows a pitcher to DH for himself.

Previously once you chose to not use a DH, the DH was lost for the game, so Ohtani would have to stop hitting once he was no longer pitching. It’s a rule that basically only affects one guy and is pretty much only in place just to let everyone get what they want, which is to see that guy play more.