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#pounditSaturday, December 4, 2021

Shohei Ohtani moves up in Angels’ batting order

Shohei Ohtani hit

Shohei Ohtani is moving on up in the baseball world.

The Los Angeles Angels have moved Ohtani up to the No. 7 spot in the batting order for Friday’s game in Kansas City.

Ohtani had been batting eighth in the order for all seven of his games as a hitter. He remains the DH, but Andrelton Simmons and Martin Maldonado are behind him as the Nos. 8 and 9 hitters.

The Angels’ decision to bat Ohtani eighth to start the season made plenty of sense. The Japanese star did not hit much in spring training, so there was no way for them to expect the offensive explosion he’s had in the early going. They’re also showing patience with him and not trying to put too much pressure on him by still keeping him low in the lineup.

Ohtani is 9-for-26 (.346) with a triple, three home runs, three walks, six strikeouts and 11 RBIs as a batter. He’s certainly hit well enough to bat third or fourth in the lineup, but there’s no need to make him the focal point of opposing pitchers yet, especially with the rest of the lineup hitting well.

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