The Los Angeles Angels appear intent on cornering the market place on two-way players.
Shohei Ohtani won AL Rookie of the Year last year as a pitcher and selected hitter. Now they’re using a appear at Jared Walsh, a blend left-handed reliever-to start with baseman-outfielder.
“I’m just seeking to retain it very simple,” said Walsh, a non-roster invitee to the Angels’ camp. “Just strike, just pitch and have pleasurable, be a baseball participant, definitely.”
Manager Brad Ausmus saw Walsh’s versatility firsthand last year in a insignificant league game. Ausmus, then a specific assistant to Angels general supervisor Billy Eppler, was watching the Triple-A Salt Lake group. Walsh begun at to start with foundation, then arrived in to get the ultimate out to near the game, which was 1 of the left-hander’s 4 pitching appearances for the insignificant league group.
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“I received fortunate,” Walsh said of his outing. “I hung a curveball and the person popped it up to center and did not strike it in the trees.”
He experienced begun as a two-way participant in college or university at Georgia and the Angels talked to him in September about continuing his double responsibility this spring. Walsh jumped at the chance.
Ohtani, currently rehabbing from Tommy John surgical treatment on his appropriate elbow, is a starter, although Walsh pitches in reduction so the workload will be unique.
“He is a front-line starter and I’m surely not that,” Walsh said. “I never have any blueprint per se for the reason that I’ve in no way accomplished this in advance of. I think the demands on him have been much more taxing than me for guaranteed.
“He is the trendsetter,” Walsh said. “I’m just subsequent his guide.”
The prepare, Ausmus said, is to have Walsh pitch, participate in to start with foundation and get some operate in the outfield as well this spring.
“We experience he has a chance to do both of those at the main league degree, specifically with the year he experienced offensively,” Ausmus said. “It will be a balance and a little easier balance for the reason that it is a reduction part, specifically in spring training exactly where anything is kind of controlled but he’s likely to do both of those.”
Walsh batted .277 with 29 dwelling runs and 99 RBIs at a few unique insignificant league levels combined last year, like a .270 typical at Salt Lake.
Each Ausmus and Walsh anticipate to see much more teams build players who can multi-task.
“Not all people is likely to be as very good as Ohtani,” Walsh said, “but if you can get value out of a participant who can do both of those, I necessarily mean, he may well not be a Cy Younger award winner or a triple crown winner but at the exact same time you are receiving value out of the participant. I certainly think as long as they can arrive up with a very good prepare to retain the players balanced, it is a little something we are going to see much more of in the long term.”
The Rays have insignificant leaguer Brendan McKay, who attained the superior Course A degree as a to start with baseman and left-handed pitcher. Matt Davidson, now with the Rangers, also was contemplating accomplishing both of those.
“Commonly you speak about versatility in terms of actively playing a bunch of unique positions,” Ausmus said. “Now, if you can participate in positions and pitch, now it is the top versatility.”
Walsh is eager to consider.
“I never think I’m any form of a trailblazer,” Walsh said. “I think if you can get value out of a participant who can do a little bit of both of those, why not give it a consider?”