Report: Shohei Ohtani Will Be on Angels' Opening Day Roster Despite Shaky Spring

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 21, 2018

Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani walks on the field before a spring training baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Monday, Feb. 26, 2018, in Peoria, Ariz. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

Despite a rough spring, Shohei Ohtani will reportedly be on the Los Angeles Angels' 25-man roster when they open the regular season on March 29. 

Two high-ranking Angels executives told USA Today's Bob Nightengale that Ohtani is currently scheduled to be the team's designated hitter in the season opener against the Oakland Athletics and that he will take the mound for his first start in the third game of the season. 

Per Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, Angels general manager Billy Eppler said last week Ohtani wasn't guaranteed a spot on the Opening Day roster. 

"It's too early to make a judgment right now," he said. "I know there's an inherent human desire to want to know. We're intellectually curious. But often times, you have to allow things to develop a little bit before getting to that point of trying to figure something out."

Ohtani is entering his first MLB season with more hype than any prospect since Bryce Harper was called up by the Washington Nationals in 2012. 

The Japanese star, who signed with the Angels in December, is ranked as the top overall prospect in 2018 by MLB.com. With 15 earned runs allowed in 8.1 innings pitched and a .107 batting average (3-for-28), he's struggled on both sides of the ball this spring.

Ohtani's next scheduled start this spring will come on Saturday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.  

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