• Kyodo

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Slugging ace pitcher Shohei Ohtani was among the 19 non-roster players invited to the Los Angeles Angels’ spring training in Tempe, Arizona, the American League ballclub said Tuesday.

Ohtani signed with the Angels in December after being posted by the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters. Despite being a former MVP in Japan, the 23-year-old was confined to a minor-league contract under the rules agreed to by Major League Baseball and its union on international signings and is not on the Angels’ 40-man roster.

This will be the third straight year Ohtani has trained in Arizona, as the Fighters held their spring camp there the past two years. He is slated to arrive on Feb. 13, a day before the Angels’ pitchers and catchers are due to report.

The rest of the team is scheduled to join them on Feb. 19.

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