Wholesale Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Jerseys

Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani may have struggled in spring training, but on the first major league swing of his career, Ohtani delivered with a single.

Batting eighth and playing designated hitter for the Los Angeles Angels, Ohtani took a 91-mph cutter from Oakland Athletics right-hander Kendall Graveman and hit it hard to right.

Ohtani was 1 for 5 with a strikeout in the game, an 11-inning, 6-5 loss to the A’s.

“I think with where the lineup is, we feel good with Shohei hitting there and getting some at-bats. We feel it’s a good matchup for him,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said before the game. “Obviously when he’s available to hit we’ll look at a number of different things and see if he’s going to be in the lineup or not.”

Ohtani is scheduled to make his pitching debut in Sunday’s series finale against the Athletics.

The 23-year-old left the Nippon Ham Fighters of Japan’s Pacific League during the offseason and joined the Angels for a $2,315,000 bonus. If Ohtani had waited two more years, he could have commanded a deal for $100 million or more.

Before the game, it seemed like just another day for the poised pitcher and hitter who is all of 23.

“We know that Shohei just like any player is excited but Shohei is well beyond his years as far analyzing the game and going out there and understanding his talent,” Scioscia said. “We’re very comfortable that he’s going to go out there and compete very well and hopefully help us win. I think the illusion might be he’s taking things in stride but he’s very confident and I don’t know if you get a sense of how hard he’s worked to get acclimated to baseball in the United States. I think he’s done a great job and we feel he’s ready.”

Scioscia hasn’t mapped out a plan for Ohtani beyond Sunday but warned he won’t have 700 plate appearances.

“I’m intrigued based on the fact that the athleticism is obvious. Looking at video from his time in Japan he is a true two-way guy,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “Hopefully he gets off to a rough start and we see what he’s all about later on when he leaves us.”

Scioscia is still getting accustomed to having a star who offers so much, with the bat and his arm.

“It’s almost like having two players, Shohei the hitter and Shohei the pitcher,” Scioscia said. “Why don’t we give him two numbers so looking at him we can decide, hey, he’s the hitter today, he’s the pitcher today. We’re going to see how this goes. I think the way it’s mapped out, especially with the six-man rotation, it gives it a chance to be very feasible and we just want to see how it works out. He swung the bat a lot in Japan and we feel that he’ll be able to handle what we project. “

Wholesale Baltimore Orioles Jerseys

Orioles right-hander Hunter Harvey, who made his second major league spring training start in Tuesday’s 9-8 loss to the Minnesota Twins, said he doesn’t feel like there’s much between where he is now and where he needs to be to be a major league starter.

“I feel like I’m close,” Harvey said. “I need to get my off-speed command a little bit better. I’d like to throw more strikes with it and feel it day by day better, but I do think I’m ready.”

Manager Buck Showalter said after the outing that he believes Harvey will get another chance to pitch in the Grapefruit League, with the team trying to keep its primary starters away from divisional opponents this spring. But so far this spring, the 2013 first-round draft pick made it known that if he’s not ready just yet, he’s back to where he was as a top pitching prospect before a variety of injuries including one that required Tommy John surgery in 2016.

Against a lineup full of Twins regulars, Harvey battled his command a bit and walked two, but was only harmed by shortstop Jorge Polanco’s one-out home run in the second inning.

“He was pretty impressive,” Showalter said. “You can tell he feels really good physically. That’s the most important thing. Command was good in spots, but it was good to get him back out there. But he threw the ball well.”

Harvey began his day by getting second baseman Brian Dozier to strike out looking at a 96 mph fastball on the outside corner, and worked with his fastball in the 94-96 mph range all throughout the first while mixing in his curveball and changeup as well.

Baltimore Orioles' Trey Mancini runs home to score on an RBI double by Manny Machado off Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow in the first inning of a spring training baseball game, Friday, March 2, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla.

His fastball was mostly at 94 mph in the second inning, and he endured some long at-bats, but the overall result of throwing over 50 pitches was a welcome challenge for someone who has been limited to short rehabilitation starts since his elbow injury first cropped up in July 2014. He’s pitched 31 1/3 innings in game innings since, with 53 pitches thrown in his final start of 2017.

“It’s nice to be able to throw 50 pitches again,” Harvey said. “My fastball felt better today. Still working on the off-speed stuff. I threw a good changeup, and had one I pulled and put in the dirt. But my body feels good. It felt better today.”

While he’s on the 40-man roster and features one of the best arms in camp regardless of his level of seasoning, the Orioles’ handling of Harvey this spring and into the season will be a subject of great interest both inside the organization and around the game.

One National League scout in attendance who requires anonymity to speak publicly on other teams’ players said in a text message: “Good stuff, long way to go still. He can help them at some point this year.”