Alex Rodriguez: Shohei Ohtani is ‘making the league look like high school’

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Alex Rodriguez and Frank Thomas join Kevin Burkhardt to discuss Shohei Ohtani's hot start in his first 6 Major League games.

- --when you interviewed them on the field during the All-Star game last year. You guys have a little relationship.

- Great guy, obviously. This guy's a Mike Scioscia type of player, Frank. When you think about him it reminds me a little bit of Gary DiSarcina, who of course was a longtime shortstop for the Angels. but with a little bit more power.

And I like his development. He was an All-Star last year. Keep an eye on this young man. He may be an All-Star again.

KEVIN BURKHARDT: The fact that they get him and listen, he was going to come over and play second base and then all of a sudden Billy Eppler swung the trade for Kinsler. And he calls him. He's like, hey, how about third? And [INAUDIBLE] was like, cool. You got to give him credit for that.

- And I remember he was very appreciative of making the All-Star team for the first time last year. You're going to meet him on the field. Eric Carroll said that was his favorite player on the Cincinnati Reds. And I be dang, he's a great player.


- And he's proving to be a lot better than I thought he was.

- And give an assist to Billy Eppler, Arte Moreno. They've done a fantastic job in a short period of time of reconfiguring and architecting this team. This team looks pretty darned good.

KEVIN BURKHARDT: They're off to a nice start. And you think about it, to your point, Justin Upton, they resign him early. Keep him in the fray after they got him late last year. Obviously, Cozart, Kinsler and--

FRANK THOMAS: No Kinsler so far.

- Hmm?

- This is going to be a great lineup by mid-summer with Kinsler coming back.

KEVIN BURKHARDT: We're missing one person. That would be Shohei Ohtani. In case you're unfamiliar with him, that's right, the modern day Babe Ruth is what they're calling him.

He got a win on the mount on Sunday. He homered into his Angels debut at home yesterday. And then today, Frank, two more hits.

He's got a hit off the closer Cody Allen. He gets a home run off of Kluber dead central. What are you liking about this guy?

- What happened, KB? Last week everybody wanted to send him to the minors. This guy's hitting .429, two home runs in his first six baseball games. Amazing.

I knew all the scouts couldn't be wrong. He was all the hype this off-season about this guy being like a Babe Ruth type. I thought it was crazy. But what I've seen so far, I really like this young man. And he's 23 years old.

ALEX RODRIGUEZ: He's making a mockery of the greatest league in the world. Someone has to tell him that he's not in Newport High School playing. He's making the league look like high school.

And this is an amazing story. But the folks at home, to understand how difficult it is to hit at this level and also to pitch and be able to dominate, it is something like I've never seen before.

- How about routine? Give me a little sense of-- so they're on a six man rotation right now so it's a little bit more spaced out. He's playing in the middle of that. So Frank, you point out, he's not playing the day before or the day after a start. But Alex, how about his routine here and what exactly he has to balance to pull this off.

- Yeah. There's a lot of moving parts right now, Kevin. And what you're seeing right now, the Angels are hoping to collect a lot of data. And what I mean by that is, they have a guy who they want to see how he pitches, they want to appraise how he hits, but right now there's a little bit of a honeymoon period.

This is really going to get interesting in August. What happens the first time he gets a little bit of a sore elbow? He's going to have to do all the stuff that pitchers have to do, the integrity, the work with the trainer, the squats, the long toss, and also maintain a great swing. That's when I think it gets a little bit more challenging.

- You think he'll last, Frank? Will it catch up to him doing both here?

- The only thing I want to see is the days he pitches. I want to see him hit those days too. Because if he likes this, it's going to be hard to keep him out of the line up. They're going to need left handed bat.

KEVIN BURKHARDT: That's interesting. You could. So essentially, he would be the pitcher and the [INAUDIBLE].

- You want him three days a week.

- Yeah.

- This schedule right now, maybe two days a week because he went a day before and a day after he pitches. I hope he hits the day that he pitches.

KEVIN BURKHARDT: That's interesting. I wonder if they'll do that.

- Frank, that's not a good point, that is a great point. And Mike Scioscia, who is a National League guy coming from the Dodgers, he loves to have the extra player. That adds another player for Mike Scioscia to play with. That's a great advantage.

- All I know is he's pitching on Sunday. And I might want to take a ride down to Anaheim, fellows, and watch what he can do. What a week, though, for Ohtani. Big win for the Angels.