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#pounditFriday, October 22, 2021

Shohei Ohtani will start All-Star Game as pitcher and DH thanks to MLB rule tweak

Shohei Ohtani hitting

American League manager Kevin Cash is going all-in with Shohei Ohtani in the MLB All-Star Game, and Major League Baseball is letting it happen.

It was announced Monday that Ohtani would serve as starting pitcher for the AL team in Tuesday’s game. Not only that, but Ohtani would also serve as the leadoff hitter in the game. This was made possible thanks to a rule change made by the league that will essentially allow the AL team to treat Ohtani as two different players.

Cash explained that MLB had tweaked the rules after much lobbying and would treat Ohtani the pitcher and Ohtani the hitter as two players, as he was voted to the team as a pitcher by his peers and into the starting lineup as a DH by the fans. That means Ohtani will be allowed to pitch, then can remain in the game as a DH even after he is removed as pitcher.

Pretty much everything Ohtani is doing this week will be historic. He’s already become the first player to be selected to the game as both a pitcher and a position player, so he’s obviously going to be the first to start in both roles as well. He’s also the No. 1 seed in Monday’s Home Run Derby.

Ever since Ohtani’s selection became a foregone conclusion, there have been many calls for him to pull double duty in the All-Star Game. MLB did the smart thing here by bending the rules a bit to allow it to happen. Cash said it was what the fans wanted to see, and he’s right. The league would have been ignorant to stand in the way of it happening.

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