Shohei Ohtani, signed by the Angels after starring in the Japanese league, could make his Target Field debut this weekend, albeit as a hitter only. The 23-year-old is the first major leaguer since Babe Ruth in 1917 to regularly pitch and hit — but he left his start Wednesday against Kansas City because of a finger blister, and his availability as a hitter is uncertain. He does not play on days before and after his starts, which are once a week.
• In nine starts, righthander Ohtani is 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 49⅓ innings. He has hit 101.1 mph on the radar gun, and has given up only two hits on his “out” pitch, a split-fingered fastball.
• Before Wednesday, his average fastball velocity (96.9 miles per hour) was second in MLB behind the Yankees’ Luis Severino (97.6); Ohtani homered off a 97.2-mph fastball from Severino this season.
• As a lefthanded designated hitter, Ohtani has a .289 batting average and six home runs — all at home. He is slugging .535 and his OPS is .907.
• In a May 13 victory over the Twins, Ohtani struck out 11 in 6⅓ innings.
• Ruth had two monster years pitching for the Red Sox (1916-17). He was a combined 47-25 those years, but pitched only 37 games the next two seasons before Boston sold him to the Yankees for $100,000. He pitched in five games the rest of his career, and is baseball’s all-time leader in WAR, slugging percentage (.690) and OPS (1.164).