Juan Soto isn’t afraid to meet Shohei Ohtani on the mound this week in the Padres’ series with the Angels.
“He’s impressive, but he’s going to struggle to face this formation tomorrow, definitely,” Soto said. told the media on Monday.
“I come here to play baseball. We all know he’s an awesome player, but every time he steps on the mound, I won’t be afraid to shake his ass,” Soto added with a smile.
That’s a big statement coming from the 24-year-old slugger whose plummeting team faces arguably the best player in baseball right now.
It’s not that Soto, who was named to the National League All-Star Team on Sunday, and his teammates lack the talent – it’s just that 28-year-old Ohtani has been out of this world.
The two-way star pitcher continued his heartbreak after winning the 2021 American League Most Valuable Player award.
Ohtani leads the greats in home runs and RBIs, with 31 and 68 respectively.
The right-hander cuts .306/.390/.670, posted a 3.02 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and threw 127 strikeouts in 95.1 innings pitched.
Oh, and Ohtani has 11 stolen bases.
All this to say that Soto better put his money where his mouth is when he heads for the plate.
Despite their top-tier roster, the Padres fell to a 38-46 record after a loss to the searing Reds on Sunday.
San Diego has lost 10 of its last 13 games, sitting fourth in National League West as the group looks to get things back on track in the second half of the season.
The Padres open their three-game series against the Angels — who are on a four-game losing streak — at Petco Park on Monday.
Ohtani is set to start on Tuesday after apparently dealing with a cracked fingernail this week.
New York Post