The San Diego Padres could have dodged a bullet when the Japanese two-way star chose to sign with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
The San Diego Padres’ front office and A.J.Preller went all-in on the Japanese double-phenom Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani however, chose to play 70 miles north instead with Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels.
Friars faithful rued the lost opportunity. But missing out on Shohei Ohtani might have been the best thing that happened to Padres.
Why not signing Shohei Ohtani worked out for the Padres
The Padres did not settle for anything less. They went ahead and signed a World Series-winner in Eric Hosmer for $144 million over eight years.
Had Shohei Ohtani signed with the team, the Hosmer move may not have happened. Eric Hosmer will be the leader and the star the Padres have been looking for.
His mere presence seems to have also lifted Wil Myers‘ numbers (limited sample), who had a fairly average 2017. Hosmer will also be a guiding factor for future Padres’ stars like Hunter Renfroe, Jose Pirela, Manuel Margot, and Carlos Asuaje.
Shohei Ohtani is only 23 and this will be his first season in Major League Baseball. It wouldn’t be surprising if he takes a couple of years to find his feet.
Ohtani hasn’t impressed this spring
Ohtani’s addition means there may be constant pressure on the manager to make room for him as a batter (DH).
Unfortunately, when an individual craves for too much attention in a team, multiple others will have to make sacrifices and this eventually can translate into poor team performances.
Also, hailing from Japan, he will have to make adjustments to the cultural differences of a new place, food habits, friends and family (or lack of).
More from Friars on Base
- Padres fighting with hated rival to sign quality veteran relief pitcher
- Jurickson Profar free agency update likely rules out Padres reunion
- Fernando Tatis Jr. may not take to outfield move after Xander Bogaerts addition
- Padres News: Fernando Tatis Jr. trade rumors, Seth Lugo chase, Manny Machado
- Padres barely missed out on high-end veteran starting pitcher
There could be too many things going on in his mind to play stress-free baseball. This much has been evident in Spring Training
In the two and odd innings that he has pitched, he has conceded eight earned runs and nine hits with an astronomical earned-run average of 27.00 and a WHIP of 4.125.
The lefty has not performed any better at the plate. In 28 at-bats, he has had only three hits. It would be fair to say that Ohtani has had a sub-par start to his career as an Angel.
The need of the hour for the Padres, however, is a veteran pitcher who these young blokes can look up to and not another young super-star.
Make no mistake about this. Shohei Ohtani has too much talent to not succeed at the highest level and he will! The question is when and with whom? Only time will tell but the Friars are better-off without Shohei. At least for now.