Shohei Ohtani’s former teammate Chris Martin gives inside scoop on ShoTime

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Rangers pitcher Chris Martin played with Shohei Ohtani in Japan before coming to the majors and he sat down with Jose Mota to discuss how ShoTime has adjusted to the Big Show

- This weekend, the Angels play host to the Texas Rangers. And in a Texas bullpen is a former teammate of Shohei Ohtani's. That may sound odd for a guy who's only been playing baseball in this country for a few months, but Rangers pitcher, Chris Martin, played with Ohtani back in Japan with the Nippon-Ham Fighters. And while Shohei didn't it face his former teammate at the plate when the Angels were in Texas back in April, he did enter the game as a pinch runner, and Martin got the better of that duel.

- This time, they got him.

- And while the Halos were in town, our own Jose Mota had a chance to chat with Chris Martin about his former teammate.

- What was the world around Shohei and with you at Hokkaido like, knowing that he was that superstar and two way player.

- Right. I think for me personally, it helped me, because there's a lot because you know there's a lot of guys over there watching Shohei play. And I felt like if I pitched well, and pretty much showcased the whole time I was over there, there was going to be you know you know a lot of Major League teams over there watching him, and then maybe get a peek at me, and see that hey, he's doing well, let's keep an eye on him too over here. And I think it helped out for the both of us.

- Knowing has personality, and obviously, you guys have a good relationship, any of the big challenges that he shared with you? Anything that he's gone through getting accustomed to Major League Baseball?

- No, I mean, you just see it. Oh, in Major League Baseball. No, I don't think he really gets bothered by much. He's pretty focused on know playing baseball, and that's pretty much what you gotta do when you're in a foreign country. I've been in the same situation. I mean, you just kind of focus on playing baseball, and then all the other things, you start to kind of get more comfortable later on.

- What was your feeling and how intently were you following each one of his steps, especially in spring training?

- I mean, it's spring training. Obviously, he's been playing since he was 18 at a professional level, so you know what spring training is about. And it's a learning curve, and he was learning, adapting to guys, and how guys are going to pitch to him, and how these guys are going to approach him when he's pitching. And he had to feel it out a little bit.

And I think when the season started, you switch on another gear. I think you see that with a lot of guys in spring training. And he was no different, apparently. And it's not always going to be easy. You know, this is a really tough league, and it takes adjustments. And guys are going to just use.

- Tell me about some of the most impactful times in how you saw him change the game in both sides of the ball while in Japan.

- Yeah. I mean, he's obviously something that you don't see very often. I think you do see it over here. Guys can do both. But ultimately, they make you choose one or the other so that you become better at one or the other. And in Japan, I think the Fighters, they wanted him on the team. So they were like kind of like the Angels. We'll let you hit and pitch because you're a big asset on both sides.

I think in Japan, it was great, fun to watch. I mean, I was part of one of his games where he led the game off with a homer. And he'd take you through eight shutout innings, and I came in the ninth innings, and just finished the game for him. And obviously, that's when I knew this guy was the real deal, when he pretty much won the game by himself.