The Los Angeles Angels overhauled their pitching corps in 2022.
However, when it comes to naming their Opening Day starter, there was never much of an argument: Shohei Ohtani, the most deserving candidate with some difference, will be taking the ball when the 2022 season is officially underway.
On with the Sho 👀 pic.twitter.com/uzxCxje7Lg
— MLB (@MLB) March 25, 2022
Ohtani was the Angels’ ace last year, when the team once again failed to make the postseason.
The most impressive thing is that he was the Angels’ best starter by far while hitting 46 home runs as a designated hitter/outfielder.
Take a second to really digest that last sentence.
The Angels’ Unquestioned Ace
Despite being in the lineup almost every day, Ohtani found the necessary strength to toss 130.1 innings from the mound.
He was fantastic, with a solid 3.18 ERA and a 3.52 Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP).
Ohtani struck out 10.77 hitter per nine innings and finished with 3.0 Wins Above Replacement, or WAR.
Combined with the 5.1 he achieved as an offensive player, he contributed 8.1 WAR.
Handing the Opening Day start to someone else didn’t make much sense: Syndergaard is a newcomer and Suarez, Sandoval, and Detmers, while talented, aren’t nearly as accomplished as Ohtani.
The baseball universe is expecting another excellent season from the Japanese star, the face of the game at this point and an idol for young fans around the world.NEXT: Angels Maintain Stability At Catcher With New Max Stassi Deal