Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani is likely to pitch on Opening Day for the second straight year, manager Phil Nevin revealed Wednesday.

Nevin also said in Tempe, Arizona, on the team's first workout day for pitchers and catchers that Ohtani will be limited to a starter's role when he pitches for Japan in the March 8-21 World Baseball Classic.

The Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani (C) chats with teammates in Tempe, Arizona, on Feb. 15, 2023, as pitchers and catchers take the field for their first workout of the spring. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

There was talk of Ohtani serving as Japan's closer.

If things go as planned, Ohtani will start against the Oakland Athletics on March 30 at Oakland Coliseum after returning from the WBC.

Ohtani was the losing pitcher in last year's season-opening game at Angel Stadium, allowing one run in 4-2/3 innings of work in a 3-1 loss to the Houston Astros. At the plate, Ohtani, batting leadoff, went hitless in four at-bats.

On Wednesday, Ohtani began his sixth major league spring training, working mainly on pitching on Day 1 and throwing 37 pitches in the bullpen.

Nevin also said he expects Ohtani's first spring training outing on the mound to be on March 1 against the Milwaukee Brewers in Tempe before he heads to Japan to join his WBC teammates.

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