Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Orange County Register
The Orange County Register
Jeff Fletcher

Angels expect Shohei Ohtani to miss potential World Baseball Classic matchup with USA

TEMPE, Ariz. — Now that Japan has advanced to the quarterfinals of the World Baseball Classic, Shohei Ohtani’s path through the tournament and to opening day with the Angels has become clear, and it won’t involve a matchup against Mike Trout.

Angels manager Phil Nevin said Saturday morning that the plan is for Ohtani to pitch in the quarterfinals of the WBC in Japan on March 16, and to pitch for the Angels on March 24 in a Cactus League game against the Padres. That sets up Ohtani to be on his normal five days’ rest before opening day on March 30 in Oakland.

“That’s what I’ve understood,” Nevin said. “He’ll pitch the quarterfinal game, then he’d be available for us that Friday (March 24) when they come back, regardless of what happens. Friday was the day he wanted to throw to get ready for Oakland.”

It means that — barring a surprise relief appearance by Ohtani — he won’t get a chance to pitch against Team USA or Trout. He still is expected to hit in every game.

The semifinals in Miami are March 19-20, and the finals are March 21.

Japan and the USA could only meet in the March 20 semifinal — not the other semifinal or the final — because both teams are locked into their quarterfinal games by virtue of the tournament format. Japan could only play in the March 16 quarterfinal and the USA could only play in the March 18 quarterfinal.

Although many will be disappointed that Ohtani and Trout won’t face each other, this was certainly the plan all along. The Angels have insisted they were in communication with Team Japan officials throughout in order to make sure that the WBC schedule would not interfere with a schedule that set up Ohtani to pitch on opening day.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.