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American League

Shohei Ohtani Wins First Major League Start, Goes Deep In First Angels Home At-Bat

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What a first week in the majors it’s been for baseball’s newest prodigy, Los Angeles Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani.

Despite allowing eight earned runs while recording the same number of outs in two Spring Training starts, Ohtani proved that didn’t mean anything, as he pitched six solid innings of three-run ball on Sunday at Oakland with six strikeouts, earning the win.

“Personally, I feel like I got off to a good start,” said Ohtani after the game through his translator, “and obviously the team went 3-1 on the first road trip, so I’m very happy with the results.”

Two nights later, Ohtani made his Angel Stadium debut in the team’s second home game as the designated hitter against the Cleveland Indians. He stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs in the first inning; and following a wild pitch to give the Angels a 3-2 lead, Ohtani officially said hello to his new home crowd:

“When I hit it, I thought it was going to be off the wall, so I was running hard,” said Ohtani. “But I’m glad it cleared the fence.”

The Angels won the game by a score of 13-2.

Ohtani wasn’t done there though. The next day, once again as the Angels’ DH, he stepped up in the fifth inning as the tying run with two outs against the reigning AL Cy Young winner:

The game remained knotted at two runs apiece for the next eight innings before fellow new Angel Zack Cozart walked off with a solo shot in the 13th, giving the Angels a 3-2 win.

What a start to the season it’s been for Ohtani, as he’s lived up to the hype, impressing on both the mound and at the plate- exactly what he came to Los Angeles to do.

“On the mound he had a great start, and then at the plate he has started to get comfortable,” said Angels manager Mike Scioscia following Wednesday’s walk-off win. “Corey Kluber is not a guy that gives up a lot of home runs, and he got a ball out over the plate and Shohei got a hold of it.”

Los Angeles is 5-2 through their first seven games.

American League

Angels Closing in on Historic Extension with Mike Trout

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The Los Angeles Angels are nearing a historic contract extension with superstar outfielder Mike Trout that would set the record for the largest contract in professional sports.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Angels and Trout are working towards a new 12-year pact that could be worth more than $340 million, nullifying his current contract.

According to the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin, Trout’s new potential deal includes a $36 million salary in each new year.

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American League

Yankees Sign Gio Gonzalez

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The New York Yankees have bolstered their rotation, which has been hit hard by injuries this spring, and have agreed to terms on a contract with veteran left-hander Gio Gonzalez, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.

According to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman, Gonzalez’s new deal is likely a minors deal.

According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, Gonzalez would make $3 million in the majors via a games-started incentives outline that could elevate his earnings, and the deal comes with an opt-out for April 20th if Gonzalez doesn’t make the team out of spring training..

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American League

Rangers’ Yohander Mendez Diagnosed With UCL Sprain

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Texas Rangers left hander Yohander Mendez has been diagnosed with a grade one sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm, according to the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant.

Mendez, who avoided having to undergo Tommy John surgery, is expected to miss half of the 2019 season as he recovers.

Mendez, 24, could return as early as mid-June, if all goes well in his rehabilitation.

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