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Ready for double duty, Ohtani reports to Halos

The Associated Press

The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani throws during practice at spring training on Tuesday.

The Associated PressTEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani came onto the field with a bat in his hand after taking some swings in the cage, on his way to throw some long toss with his full-time interpreter.

That was after the two-way standout from Japan had already taken a physical and unloaded some gear into his locker in the Los Angeles Angels clubhouse.

While Ohtani had already been working out at the team’s Arizona complex for a week, Tuesday was the reporting day for Angels pitchers and catchers. The main attraction was Ohtani, who is already busy in his first major league spring training.

“Shohei is going to have a little longer day than most of our pitchers,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “But it shouldn’t be anything that he hasn’t done before, and he’ll be ready to go.”

The 23-year-old Ohtani may be used to such a routine after five seasons playing professionally in Japan, but things are already much different for the Angels at spring training.

Scioscia conducted his camp-opening media availability by speaking into a microphone alongside another interpreter recently hired by the team as reporters — including about 70 from Japan — sat in several rows of two sections of stands down the right field line at Diablo Stadium.

That crowd is expected to be much larger Wednesday, when Ohtani is scheduled to talk after the team’s first official workout.

Just moments after Scioscia was asked a question about Ohtani’s physical, the player entered the field from a gate in the right-field corner, not far from where Scioscia stood.

“I guess his physical’s OK. He’s here,” Scioscia said after calling out to Ohtani and briefly greeting his new starting pitcher — and hitter too.

The Angels knew Ohtani was recovering from a sprained elbow before they agreed to a contract with the two-way player two months ago. He missed much of last season in Japan with an ankle injury.

“We don’t anticipate any issues,” Scioscia said. “He’s been throwing and hitting, and he’s in great shape.”

Scioscia said he had only seen video of Ohtani’s workouts, but also got reports from staff members about how the pitcher-hitter was doing.

Some of his new teammates who were also in camp early, and have been on the field with him, are impressed.

“Seeing him getting acclimated, it’s been great. Just talking, hanging out, getting to know each other,” starting pitcher Matt Shoemaker said. “He’s phenomenal. You see him throw a bullpen, you know how hard he can throw, and see his effortless swing and what the ball does off his bat is crazy. Yeah, it’s exciting.”

Tyler Skaggs said two of his bullpen sessions have been at the same time as Ohtani’s.

“I haven’t really got to see it with my own eyes yet,” Skaggs said of Ohtani’s pitching. “I saw him play catch, and I saw him hitting batting practice, which was impressive.”

Darvish, Cubs make deal official

CHICAGO (AP) — Yu Darvish and the Chicago Cubs have finalized their $126 million, six-year contract, by far the largest deal in a slow-moving free agent market.

The agreement announced Tuesday topped outfielder Lorenzo Cain’s $80 million, five-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Darvish joins a rotation that includes Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana and Tyler Chatwood, who agreed to a $38 million, three-year contract in December.Speech

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