Padres’ Juan Soto sends warning to Angels’ Shohei Ohtani before showdown: ‘Won’t be scared’

Juan Soto is not afraid to meet Shohei Ohtani on the mound this week in the Padres’ series with the Angels. 

“He’s impressive, but he’s going to have trouble to face this lineup tomorrow, definitely,” Soto said to the media on Monday

“I’m coming here to play baseball. We all know he’s an impressive player, but whenever he steps on the mound I won’t be scared to shuffle his ass,” Soto added with a grin. 

That’s a big statement coming from the 24-year-old slugger whose slumping team is facing arguably the best player in baseball right now.

It’s not that Soto, who was named to the National League All-Star squad on Sunday, and his teammates don’t have the talent –– it’s just that Ohtani, 28, has been out-of-this-world good. 


soto
Padres left fielder Juan Soto (22) reacts after a play against the Cincinnati Reds.
USA TODAY Sports

The two-way star pitcher has continued his tear after winning the American League Most Valuable Player in 2021. 

Ohtani is leading the bigs in both home runs and RBIs, with 31 and 68 respectively. 

The right-hander is slashing .306/.390/.670, has posted a 3.02 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and has thrown 127 strikeouts through 95.1 innings pitched.

Oh, and Ohtani has 11 stolen bases. 


mlb
Shohei Ohtani throws to the plate during the first inning.
AP

mlb
Juan Soto of the San Diego Padres hits a home run.
Getty Images

All this to say Soto better put his money where his mouth is when he walks up to the plate. 

Despite their top-tier roster, the Padres have fallen to a 38-46 record after a loss against the red-hot Reds on Sunday. 

San Diego has dropped 10 of its last 13 games, slotting into fourth place in the National League West as the group looks to get things back on track in the second half of the season.


mlb
Shohei Ohtani (17) and catcher Matt Thaiss (21) celebrate.
USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

The Padres open their three-game series against the Angels –– who are on a four game losing streak –– at Petco Park on Monday. 

Ohtani is set to start on Tuesday after reportedly dealing with a cracked fingernail this week.  

source: nypost.com