Two-way rookie sensation Shohei Ohtani will appear on Major League Baseball's All-Star Game ballot as a designated hitter, a Los Angeles Angels source said Tuesday.
This year's All-Star Game will be held at Nationals Park in Washington on July 17. Fans will vote for position players only beginning in June. Pitchers and substitutes are chosen by each league's manager.
In his first major league season, Ohtani is hitting .310 with six home runs, 17 RBIs and an OPS of .960 in 25 games. Ohtani the pitcher is 4-1 with an ERA of 3.35 in seven starts.
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In Japan, Ohtani was an all-star in each of his five seasons with the Nippon Ham Fighters. He batted 5-for-15 with one home run, and was 1-0 as a pitcher in three games with a 4.50 ERA.
The 23-year-old Japanese star, who was 0-for-3 at the plate and drew a walk Tuesday in the Angels' 5-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, will make his next start against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, when Masahiro Tanaka is set to pitch for the home team, manager Mike Scioscia said.
Ohtani and Tanaka will start against each other for the first time in the majors. In Japan, the two went head-to-head on Sept. 6, 2013, when Tanaka, then of the Rakuten Eagles, allowed two runs over the distance for the win.
Ohtani, then a 19-year-old rookie, allowed two runs in five innings but did not figure in the decision.
Ohtani took his potential matchup with Tanaka in stride, as he does with everything else.
"I've got a game tomorrow before that so it's what I'll focus on first," Ohtani said.
(Pitchers Shohei Ohtani and Masahiro Tanaka are set to face off Sunday.)