ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — It is next to impossible to replace all that Shohei Ohtani can do when standing on a baseball field, although the Los Angeles Angels did their best for a few minutes Tuesday.
With Ohtani unavailable for team photo day, as he continues to be examined for oblique soreness that cropped up Monday, the team put a body double in a No. 17 jersey and lined him up in the outfield with the rest of the players.
After the photo was completed, the Ohtani imposter was ushered out of a tunnel beyond the left field wall.
During his pregame session with the media, Angels manager Phil Nevin was asked if the body double, with a strikingly similar frame to Ohtani, could potentially pitch or hit.
“Shohei will be in the photo when you see it,” Nevin said with a smile, suggesting that somebody’s Photoshop skills will be pressed into service.
Alas, it could be the only time Ohtani’s No. 17 takes the field Tuesday. He was not in the lineup for the second consecutive day against the Baltimore Orioles because of his latest injury, although Nevin would not confirm or deny if his star hitter could potentially pinch hit in the late innings.
“Maybe,” Nevin said. “I can’t give you all of my secrets.”