Angels designated hitter and pitcher Shohei Ohtani took fly balls in right field and grounders at first base yesterday in Houston, according to Maria Torres of the Los Angeles Times. Ohtani has only been serving as a designated hitter after being shut down as a pitcher a few weeks ago. Angels manager Joe Maddon reportedly thinks getting Ohtani moving could help him in the batter's box. (Maria Torres on Twitter)
From a fantasy perspective, Ohtani playing the field would be huge. In most formats, he is only eligible in utility or designated hitter slots now that he can't be used as a pitcher. It doesn't sound like he is close to playing the field anytime soon, so this news might not have a huge impact on redraft leagues that are nearly half over. But in keeper in dynasty leagues, Ohtani gaining eligibility at either first base or the outfield would give fantasy owners a lot more flexibility. Through 24 games this season, Ohtani is batting .172 with 11 runs scored, five home runs, 14 RBI, and two stolen bases.