Ohtani or Judge for AL MVP? The answer has more deliberation

There are 46 games left in the Angels’ season after Monday, meaning Shohei Ohtani has 46 games left to add to his resume and complete his case for repeating himself as the American League’s MVP. His main rival for the award was New York Yankees hitter Aaron Judge.

For some, the case is a no-brainer. Yankee fans on Twitter have no problem declaring Judge the rightful winner. Ask the Angels fanbase and you’ll get a similar answer, but with Ohtani’s name. Ask some of the people who have worked with or played with Judge and Ohtani and the answer is more thoughtful.

“Nobody can do anything [Ohtani] does. Not saying anyone could do what Judge does,” shortstop Andrew Velazquez said before the Angels played the Seattle Mariners on Monday.

“That’s why they’re both in the running,” Velazquez continued. “It will come down to the wire. In my opinion, Judge will have to do something historic, which he is already doing. But I mean, for Ohtani, every day is historic.”

A native of Bronx, NY, Velazquez starred with Judge and the Yankees in 2021. The Angels called him off from waivers before 2022.

Added interim manager Phil Nevin, who was the Yankees’ third base coach from 2018 to 2021, “That’s a tough question for me. love them both To say I would vote for one or the other, I mean our type, nobody does what our type does.

Judge is currently chasing Roger Maris’ AL record of 61 home runs in a season, which Maris set with the Yankees in 1961. The judge had 46 home runs through Monday. Judge also leads baseball in the much-discussed wins over spares (7.0), on-base plus slugging rate (1.076), runs scored (96), and RBI (100), among other offensive stats.

Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees at bat.

New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge at bat during the fifth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays Monday in New York.

(Adam Hunger/Associated Press)

Ohtani has completed a nearly 100-year-old feat this season with 10 wins and more than 10 home runs — before Monday he had 26 home runs (10th in MLB). The last to do so, according to the Angels, were Babe Ruth (1918, Boston Red Sox), Bullet Rogan (1922, Kansas City Monarchs), and Ed Rile (1927, Detroit Stars).

“It’s a special time in our game because of what he’s doing,” Nevin said when asked to consider being Ohtani’s coach.

Ohtani’s nine starts from 10 or more strikeouts lead MLB in 2022. He is seventh in strikeouts for the season (157). Ohtani is also fifth in WAR (5.7) and second in intentional walks (12).

There was also his eight-game RBI in June, which he followed up with a 13-game strikeout the next day.

At least two Angels had unequivocal answers as to who they think is the undeniable MVP this year.

“Judge is having an insane year and hitting a lot of bombs and his OPS is really high, but Shohei is doing that and pitching at an elite level,” said fellow starting pitcher Patrick Sandoval. “I don’t think it should be such a big debate.”

Infielder David Fletcher added, “With shohei pitching and hitting, it was hard to get more value than that for me.”

Trout and Rendon updates

Mike Trout resumed batting practice ahead of Monday’s game, taking pitches from one of the organization’s minor leagues, managing bases and doing more offensive work.

“Really encouraging stuff, even more so than the past few days,” Nevin said. “So we’ll see again how he emerges from this tomorrow.”

There is still no fixed date for his return.

Continuing his recovery from wrist surgery, Anthony Rendon picked up more ground balls and easily threw a ball from about five feet. He hasn’t fully started throwing yet.

The Angels said over the weekend the hope is Rendon completes his rehab to have a normal off-season before next spring training.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/angels/story/2022-08-15/angels-seattle-mariners-recap-shohei-ohtani-aaron-judge Ohtani or Judge for AL MVP? The answer has more deliberation

Emma Bowman

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