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Multitalented Japanese pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani will make his spring training debut for the Los Angeles Angels on the mound against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday.

“I feel that this is a big step forward,” Ohtani told reporters Thursday, via an interpreter. “I’m really happy at this point.

“This will be my first start in the States; I’m pretty sure a lot of things aren’t going to go my way. That’s OK. I just need to find what I need to adjust and feel where I’m at, and it’s going to be enough.”

He threw a bullpen session Thursday. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said then that it would be unlikely Ohtani would make any pinch-hitting appearances early in spring training.

Ohtani also took batting practice Thursday, wowing teammates with home runs over the scoreboard and the batter’s eye at Tempe Diablo Stadium, according to multiple media reports.

“I’m enjoying fooling around with my teammates and having a lot of fun,” Ohtani said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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MLB

Source — Jurickson Profar, San Diego Padres agree to 3-year, $21 million deal

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Jurickson Profar and the San Diego Padres are in agreement on a three-year, $21 million contract, a source familiar with the deal told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Profar continues to show his versatility as a true utilityman, having played five defensive positions for the Padres last season while seeing most of his action in left field and at second base. He hit a career-high .278 with seven home runs and 25 RBIs in 56 games during the pandemic-shortened season.

The 27-year-old continues to get on track offensively as he gets more playing time, something he didn’t have during his first six years after the top prospect was called up by the Texas Rangers in 2012. He got off to a horrible start during the 2020 season but compiled an .879 OPS over the final 43 games, hitting .331.

The Padres acquired Profar in a trade with the Oakland Athletics after the 2019 season, and he beat out Brian Dozier to win the starting job at second base. His slow start, however, led to Jake Cronenworth taking over at the position, but opportunity soon followed as Profar moved to left field after Tommy Pham was injured.

Overall, in seven major league seasons, Profar has a .238 batting average with 59 home runs and 222 RBIs with the Padres, Athletics and Rangers.

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Images from Hank Aaron’s chase for the career home run record

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Baseball Hall of Fame slugger Hank Aaron died Friday in his sleep. He was 86. The Mobile, Alabama, native is remembered as one of the greatest hitters of all time. He spent his entire adult life in baseball, as a player and in the Atlanta Braves’ front office. Take a look back at some of the greatest moments from his career, including the chase for his record-breaking 715th career home run.

Related: Aaron’s impact is measured in more than home runs


Related: Baseball world and beyond honor Hank Aaron


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Tributes to a legend — Baseball world and beyond honors Hank Aaron

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The importance of Hank Aaron to baseball — and to American culture — is unmistakable. The Hall of Famer and longtime MLB home run king was a symbol of greatness on the field and dignity off it, facing death threats as a Black man approaching and then breaking Babe Ruth’s hallowed home run mark with the Atlanta Braves in 1974.

His death on Friday morning, at age 86, reverberated beyond sports. Here are some of the many tributes to Hammerin’ Hank on social media, from current and former big leaguers to civil rights leaders and other luminaries.

More on Aaron: Bryant: Aaron’s lasting impact is measured in more than home runs



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