Rose: "We're Not Making A Big Enough Deal About Ohtani"

Shohei Ohtani has exceeded expectations and should participate in the Home Run Derby, Chris Rose says

The DA Show
November 01, 2018 - 2:30 pm

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Video of MLB Network Host Chris Rose

Shohei Ohtani doesn’t lead the majors in home runs. In fact, with six dingers on the season, he ranks just outside the top 40 – in the American League. 

But he should absolutely participate in the Home Run Derby in July.

“One thousand percent behind it,” MLB Network analyst Chris Rose said on The DA Show. “Whatever he can do in those two days in Washington D.C., have him do. If he wants to do the Home Run Derby, great. If he wants to do the Home Run Derby by himself, I’m all for that. If he wants to have a bullpen session in front of 50,000 people so we can just all watch and ooh and ahh, I’m good with that. If he wants to hit all nine times in the All-Star Game, I’m good with that. We have to do whatever we can in this spot to put him on a national stage because as big of a deal as some people think we’re making of it, we’re not making a big enough deal about it.”

Ohtani is 4-1 with a 3.35 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP and has 52 strikeouts in 40 and 1/3 innings this season. He’s also hitting .321 with six homers, five doubles, a triple, 17 RBIs and a .367 OBP – in just 84 at-bats.

“This guy is probably a top-five pitcher in the American League already,” Rose said, “but to me, the shocking thing is how good of a hitter he’s been. Think about how difficult it is to be a bench player in this sport where you’re hitting every few days. That’s essentially what he’s doing. He’s not in the lineup five days a week to stay sharp. My man, (Kevin) Millar, who I work with on Intentional Talk, I think is just dumbfounded by how good and consistent this guy’s stroke has been. I think it’s an unbelievable story, and if he had landed in New York or Chicago instead of Anaheim, where he wanted to be, this would be on The Today Show.”

Instead, Ohtani has seemingly flown under the radar – despite doing what no big leaguer has done since Babe Ruth.

“I love it,” Rose said. “I love what he’s doing. I was disappointed not in him because of the spring that he had, but kind of for him. I felt like he came over with so much hype and fanfare and we were getting ready to see something we hadn’t seen in 100 years, and you felt like it was going to fall flat out of the gate. We always heard that he was such a stud pitcher, and you’re like, ‘Okay, he might pack it up as far as the hitting goes and he’ll just be a dominant pitcher, which could be good enough.’ But man, to see him come out of the chute the way that he has – and by the way, there will be struggles. There will be a stretch where he goes 1-for-23 or whatever because that happens in baseball. But man, it is so much fun to watch.”

The Angels (26-21) trail the Astros (30-18) by 3.5 games in the AL West and the Mariners (27-19) by 1.5 games in the Wild Card.

“They just better have a special Ohtani category in the All-Star Game is all I’m saying,” Rose said. “Do whatever you can to get him there.”