Pittsburgh isn’t going anywhere and they have a $3.25 million closer who is pitching pretty well. You don’t have to be Kreskin or Josh Beckett’s girlfriend to figure out how this is gonna turn out. He’s gone, sooner rather than later.
The latest rumor is that the Marlins are interested. Florida isn’t as bad off as Pittsburgh, competitively speaking, and they do have a terrible bullpen, so they probably match up well enough. I’ll go out on a limb, however, and predict that such a deal will not alter the balance of power in the National League.
Sure, spring training games don’t count toward anything “real,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Angels’ star pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani mowing down his first big league competitors.
On Saturday, Ohtani took the mound against the Brewers for his first official outing in an Angels uniform. After allowing a leadoff double to Jonathan Villar, the 23-year-old righty settled down and issued a three-pitch strikeout to Nate Orf, his first of the spring.
It wasn’t the cleanest inning for the right-hander: the Brewers plated their first run on a walk, wild pitch and subsequent throwing error by catcher Martin Maldonado. Ohtani didn’t let things unravel further, however, and induced a pop-up for the second out before catching Brett Phillips looking on a called strike three to end the inning.
While the two-way phenom only lasted another two batters (a Keon Broxton dinger finished him off in the second), he’s already started to look like a formidable presence on the mound. Time will tell whether he can deliver at the plate as well — rumor has it he could feature in the Angels’ lineup as soon as Monday.