All-Star Game: Shohei Ohtani named AL starting pitcher after MLB bends rules for Kevin Cash

·2-min read

As if it wasn't crystal clear before, AL manager Kevin Cash hammered it home Monday.

This week's All-Star festivities are all about Shohei.

Lineup cards were revealed for both MLB All-Star teams on Monday. Shohei Ohtani will lead off as the designated hitter for the AL. He'll also be the team's starting pitcher.

The Los Angeles Angels star's status as a starter on offense was already established. Fans voted him as the team's starter at designated hitter. The starting pitcher decision lands with each team's manager. Cash was happy to give the fans what they want.

"This is what the fans want to see," Cash told reporters. "It's personally what I want to see."

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - JULY 11: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels looks on in the dugout during the game against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on July 11, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Shohei Ohtani will start on the pitchers mound and bat leadoff in Tuesday's All-Star Game. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Cash 'begged' MLB for rule change to allow Ohtani to start

Ohtani was already the first player in MLB history named to an All-Star team as a hitter and a pitcher. Now he'll be the first to start in both spots. He'll also technically play as two different players after Cash said he "begged MLB" for a rule change to allow him to do so. So Ohtani will bat as a designated hitter instead of as a pitcher.

This will allow him to continue batting after he's pulled from the mound and will also allow for a non-pitcher replacement at his leadoff position in the lineup. It should provide a better option and show for the fans than forcing, say, Gerrit Cole or Carlos Rodon to take the batter's box — or a pinch hitter every pass through the lineup.

Ohtani will square off against Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer, whom NL manager Dave Roberts designated as the team's starting pitcher.

It's safe to say there's never been an All-Star showcase quite like Ohtani's this week. He even was the headliner in the Home Run Derby on Monday night. It's also safe to say there has never been a player quite like him.

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