Shohei Ohtani’s first start will be Sunday

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The Angels selected the contract of pitcher/DH Shohei Ohtani and added him to the 40-man and 25-man roster. To create a 40-man spot, they designated catcher Carlos Perez for assignment.

That may not be super shocking news, but Ohtani has struggled mightily this spring, neither hitting nor pitching well, and at least some people have suggested giving him some time in the minors. That always seemed extraordinarily unlikely given the attention that has been focused on the two-way star, both in terms of media coverage and, likely, in ticket sales and marketing. He was always going to be given the opportunity to fail at the big league level before seeing time at Salt Lake City. It’s certainly the call most of us would make if we ran the club.

Ohtani is scheduled to make his major league pitching debut Sunday when he starts for the Los Angeles Angels in their fourth game of the season at Oakland. He is likewise expected to be the team’s designated hitter in at least one of the first three games, but it’s unclear if that will happen in the opener tomorrow.

 

Kyle Gibson, Orioles finalize 1-year, $10M contract

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SAN DIEGO – Right-hander Kyle Gibson and the Baltimore Orioles finalized a one-year, $10 million contract.

The 35-year-old would receive a $150,000 assignment bonus if traded, payable by the receiving team. He also can earn a $25,000 bonus if he is elected or selected for the All-Star team. Gibson was an All-Star in 2021.

Gibson was 10-8 with a 5.05 ERA in 31 starts for Philadelphia last season. He also pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings in two relief appearances in the postseason for the NL champions.

Baltimore gained another experienced arm as it looks to build on its surprising season. After losing 110 games the previous year, the Orioles contended for an AL wild card for much of the summer before finishing 83-79 for the franchise’s first winning record since 2016.

Gibson was an AL All-Star in 2021, going 6-3 with a 2.87 ERA in 19 starts for Texas. He was traded to Philadelphia that July, and he went 4-6 with a 5.09 ERA in 12 appearances for the Phillies down the stretch.

The 6-foot-6 Gibson was selected by Minnesota in the first round of the 2009 amateur draft. He made his big league debut with the Twins in 2013.

He spent his first first seven seasons with Minnesota, going 67-68 with a 4.52 ERA in 193 games, including 188 starts. He had his best year in 2018, finishing with a career-low 3.62 ERA in a career-best 196 2/3 innings.

Gibson, who signed a $28 million, three-year contract with Texas in December 2019, is 89-91 with a 4.52 ERA in 267 major league games.