Angels’ Shohei Ohtani strikes out eight in his second spring training start

first_img Cubs beat Angels behind three-run ninth inning The controlled “B game” environment allowed the Angels to dictate Ohtani’s pitch count, tone down the atmosphere, and give him a lineup of relatively inexperienced opponents. The second inning ended after Ohtani threw 20 pitches and recorded only two outs. Friday’s results won’t count toward his official spring training stat line and should be taken with a grain of salt.Still, Ohtani left a better impression than in his Angels pitching debut last Saturday. Scouts clocked his fastball in the range of 92 to 96 mph. His secondary pitches – a curveball, slider and split-finger fastball – deceived hitters with late, sharp movement.“Everything for a strike,” said Rene Rivera, the veteran catcher who caught Ohtani. “When he needed to throw a ball, he was throwing a ball. His slider was nuts today.“That slider, you see the hitters jumping back thinking it’s going to hit them and the ball was right on the corner.”Before the game, Rivera said he and Ohtani discussed some of the differences between the Japanese and American brands of baseball. The mound is different here, Rivera said. So is the surface of the baseball. In Japan, Ohtani said he had at least one day off each week.“There are no off-days here,” he said. “That’s probably the biggest difference.”Added together, these small adjustments amount to a major transition. The Angels expect tangible progress between now and the regular season, which begins March 29. But with the club carefully protecting Ohtani’s workload – especially after a season in which injuries limited him to 25⅓ innings pitching for the Nippon Ham Fighters – his progress will be measured in glimpses.Ohtani’s next appearance in a game figures to come as the Angels’ designated hitter. Manager Mike Scioscia said “it’ll be a couple days” before that happens.As is always the case when Ohtani pitches, the media followed. With his transition on the field ostensibly going well, Ohtani was asked about his off-the-field transition to life in the United States.“It’s starting to feel like home now a little bit,” he said. Whicker: MLB’s marooned free agents will be back when it matters PEREZ LOOKING SHARPAngels catcher Carlos Perez got only 321 plate appearances between the majors and Triple-A Salt Lake in 2017. To stay sharp, Perez spent the month of November in the Venezuelan Winter League, where he got another 76 plate appearances and slashed .314/.355/.457.The extra work seems to have carried over to 2018. Perez has four hits, including two doubles, in his first 11 Cactus League plate appearances.Related Articles “He’s still getting into his game behind the plate,” Scioscia said. “It’s early still in spring. As far as the way he’s comfortable in the batter’s box, he’s hitting the ball hard.”Perez, who hit a game-winning home run in his first major league game three years ago, is facing much lower expectations now. Martin Maldonado, Rene Rivera and Juan Graterol have crowded the depth chart at catcher. And since Perez is out of minor-league options, the Angels could have a hard time keeping him in the organization.center_img PHOENIX — The public address system at Maryvale Stadium did not include Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sounds of Silence” on its playlist Friday. It should have. As the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani pitched to nine Milwaukee Brewers minor leaguers in a near-empty park, you could hear every murmur among the ushers, scouts and media. The birds flying overhead were more raucous than the smattering of people below.The Maryvale playlist was more ambitious than ironic. Ohtani warmed up to “Respect” by Aretha Franklin, “Taking Care of Business” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive, and “On Top Of The World” by Imagine Dragons, respectively, before each of his three innings. A few more games like Friday’s, and Ohtani will be on top of the world soon enough.Ohtani struck out eight of the 12 batters he faced in his second competitive pitching appearance. The other four Brewers got hits, and two of them scored. Only one of the four hits would qualify as “hard contact” – a double to the center-field wall by former UC Irvine standout Keston Hiura, who was drafted ninth overall last summer.By the third inning, Ohtani was in total command. He got Tyrone Taylor to swing and miss at a fastball, then used a split-finger fastball in the dirt to retire Hiura swinging. Veteran Nick Franklin watched a slow curveball over the outside corner for strike three on Ohtani’s 52nd and final pitch. “I think I was just getting used to the mound each inning,” he said through an interpreter. “I think that’s why I was best in the third inning.”Ohtani’s adjustment process won’t always be so conspicuous. Even this game wasn’t very conspicuous – unless you were a scout, reporter or photographer. No tickets were sold to the game, and only fans who purchased tickets to the Brewers’ main game later that day were allowed into the park. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Now Ronaldo bags ‘long-term’ 40 million euro a year Nike deal

first_imgShare on: WhatsApp Madrid, Spain | AFP | A day after signing a bumper fresh contract with Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo has boosted his mind-boggling earnings with a new deal with Nike, the American sports giant said on Tuesday.Together the multimillion mega-deals are expected to cement Ronaldo’s status as the world’s highest-paid sportsman, ahead of great Barcelona rival Lionel Messi.According to American magazine Forbes, Ronaldo trumped Messi in 2016 with an income of $88 million (80 million euros, £71 million).There are no concrete figures, but Ronaldo’s new five-year contract with Real is expected to net the 31-year-old Portuguese forward in the region of a basic salary of 25 million euros a year.He could also bag up to 40 million euros a year for the Nike deal, according to Marca. Marca and AS, the Spanish sports dailies, said the Nike deal is for life, rather like the one between Nike and basketball legend Michael Jordan.“I have a great relationship with this brand, I have great friends here in the company,” Ronaldo said in a Nike press release announcing a “new, long-term contract”.“We work as a family too,” he added.“This is my brand.”Ronaldo on Monday signalled his intention to keep playing for 10 more years after rounding off a “dream year”.The three-time World Player of the Year has enjoyed his most successful year at a collective level, scoring the winning penalty as Madrid won the Champions League for an 11th time in May before captaining Portugal to their first major tournament win at Euro 2016.last_img read more

KIJHL mourns loss of former star Brendan Burge

first_imgBurge went on to play for a team in Germany, Luchse Lauterbach.“Brendan was only with us for one season before finishing Junior, and moving on to play In Germany; but his presence made a huge impact on the ice and in the dressing room,” the Rockies Facebook post went on to say.“Brendan came to the Rockies from Fernie and showed tremendous character and growth during his time as a Rockie.”Burge earned Rockies top scorer and Columbia Valley’s most valuable player honours during his final season.“We as an organization are so deeply affected by the passing of this young man and would like to pass on our condolences to his family, his beautiful daughter Bodene and his hockey family that spans far and wide,” the Rockies Facebook Post said.The RCMP does not believe foul play was a factor in the accident. The BC Coroners Service is now handling the investigation.Brendan’s true passion for the game is best summed up in his own choice of words:“I miss the feel of the puck, and the breeze as you skate; I miss the sound of the crowd and my stupid room mate. The list could go on and on, but nothing will replace the way, that every problem, every issue that was going on in a guy’s mind just disappeared as soon as you stepped on the ice. Even if it meant for just two hours you had not a worry in the world….”“Ride on, Burgey – Rest in Peace…,” the Rockies Facebook Post concluded. The entire Kootenay International Junior Hockey League is morning the loss of a former player following a freak accident Friday in Kelowna.Former Columbia Valley Rockies forward Brendan Burge has been identified on social media as the man who died tragically after falling from the fifth-floor balcony of a downtown Kelowna condo. “A very sad day for the KIJHL,” said a post Sunday on the Columbia Valley Rockies Facebook Page.“The sad news of the passing of Brendan Burge from Salmon Arm who played for the Rockies during the 2012/13 Season.”Born in Salmon Arm, Burge, 24, had a lengthy career in the KIJHL with stops in Revelstoke, Chase and Fernie before completing his career with the Rockies.He played 162 games scoring 87 goals and registering 138 assists for 225 points.last_img read more