Change to two-way players starting in the 2023 season

I love it, thank you. I’ve thought of the UTIL spot as being like the DH. Most of the time you want to put someone else there, but if the Angels have the option of putting Ohtani there on days he pitches, so should we!


Making the best player way more valuable overnight in a dynasty type setting, where is the dislike button?

  1. The change is not going to take place until Opening Day 2023, which is around 270 days away.
  2. MLB made Ohtani more valuable by allowing him to play 2 positions on the days he pitches about 8 days before the season started this year, and Ottoneu is doing its best to reflect that.

@drbq79 @nivshah

I do think D has a point Niv. First, thanks for all you do, I’ve been playing for a year and a half and I love it.

I don’t think the Ohtani rule is particularly relevant to the issue at hand here from the concept of playing ottoneu. The ohtani rule only allows Ohtani to keep hitting on days he pitches, which admittedly will give him something like an extra plate apperance or two on the days that he pitches. Therefore assuming 30 starts this year, I think it’s safe to say that Ohtani would get something like 50 more plate appearances.

However, from the perspective of an ottoneu manager, this was irrelevant to me, because I was getting 0 points from the days he had a start for his hitting. Therefore whether he got more plate appearances wouldn’t affect his value in ottoneu. So the ohtani rule had no impact on ottoneu whatsoever.

The change that is being made in ottoneu, gives ohtani roughly 20% more plate appearances and 20% more value as a hitter. That to me is significant. Logically, I understand why you are recommending this change. I would however argue that your timing is wrong.

I’ve listened to a few podcasts where you have either stated or agreed that a rebuild is possible in ottoneu in a two year time frame. It’s July, teams are already ramping up for a rebuild or a push which directly impacts their choices next year. Making one of the most valuable players approximately 10-15% more valuable is a significant boon to one of the teams in the league.

I’d ask that you consider making this change at the beginning of Opening Day 2024 to allow the “market” to anticipate this change more effectively.

Thanks for your consideration.


phcosgrove, I believe you’re far overstating the extra value.

First, he’s locked in a 6 man rotation and they don’t disrupt the order after a day off so it’s really 1/6.5 or 15% extra PA’s.

Next, for two years now Ohtani’s production as a hitter is significantly down on days that he pitches. Perhaps there’s no signal here but perhaps pitching does indeed take a lot out of him to where his hitting is 20-30% worse than on days he DH’s only.

Finally, you’re not getting Ohtani’s hitting in addition to all your other points. You have to replace a likely 1B-type bat that you’re normally slotting into Util on Ohtani pitching days with Ohtani’s hitting stats. There might not even be much of an increase considering point 2, above.

I think your estimate of 10-15% increase in value is an over estimate. I’d guess maybe 5%, myself.



Thanks for the comments. Discussion on this is always helpful and maybe that’s happening on other threads, but the first I heard of it was after it had already been decided.

Second, I’m glad you agree with me that there is change in ohtani’s value. Whether it’s 5% or 15% is a matter for debate, and I’ll admit that I didn’t do a deep dive on the differentiation of his plate appearances, but just did quick estimates. I would however disagree with your point regarding that you get replacement value. Any day you start any player, you could always get his replacement value. Whether the change in value is 5% or 15% is a debate, but I don’t think that changes the point. Ohtani has become more valuable only due to a rule change in ottoneu. As such the impact of that rule change should be considered.

Third, as I stated in my prior post I agree with Niv and you that this rule is a logical change and support it. However, I think that a single off-season to impact this change remains and that a change would best be made in 2024.

Thanks for the comments and adding to the discussion.

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A few thoughts on this conversation:

  1. On Ohtani’s value, I think the increase is probably closer to 5% than 15% and maybe even lower than that. Ohtani has been in 79 games this year, 13 as a SP, which means his offense as a SP is about 16% (1/6th-ish, as Rusty said) of his total offense. His wOBA as a P the last two years is .343 which (again, as Rusty said) is significantly lower than his wOBA as a DH. Among 157 qualified hitters this year, a .343 wOBA is tied for 54th - guys between .341 and .345 include Connor Joe, Christian Walker, Austin Hays, DJ LeMahieu, Nathaniel Lowe, Rowdy Tellez, Alex Bregman - all good hitters in their own right but not exactly stars. Assuming you did something like rostered a stud 1B (say, Freeman) and Ohtani, and your backup Util for those 30 games a year was (for example) Tellez or Lowe or an extra OF like Hays, the increase in value from Ohtani is literally 0 - you have gained nothing by swapping him into Util. If your extra Util was someone like Yandy Diaz or Anthony Rizzo, you would be WORSE off using Ohtani instead. There is some small benefit to not needing to roster one of those guys, but you were going to carry extra OF and backup players anyway. Anyway, at the end of the day, I think even 5% might be overstating the added value.

  2. But even if we grant that 5%, that means that if you think Ohtani is currently a $60 player (his average salary in 1st year leagues is $61, though that is skewed high by a weird league where top players are paid mid-100s and Ohtani is $161), a 5% increase is $3. In the $480 economy of an Ottoneu league, that is a 0.63% change in overall economic impact of the league. It’s basically negligible.

  3. Again, even granting a 5% (or 10%) change, the impact this rule has on Ohtani is smaller than the impact we see on plenty of other players. Juan Soto jumped far more than that because the Nats called him up sooner than expected. Cedric Mullins jumped more than that because he stopped switch-hitting. Dozens of relievers decreased by more than that when MLB added the three-hitter rule. Carter Capps dropped by more than that when MLB outlawed his delivery. Dozens of RP dropped by more than that (and many increased) when Ottoneu changed the rules to require pitchers be used in the role their MLB team is using them. Anthony Rizzo moved more than that because Joe Maddon made him trade gloves ten times. Player values change year to year (month to month, week to week, day to day) based on a million things - this change is a) not historically large, if anything it is pretty small, and b) is being made 9 months out whereas most happen with far, far less notice.

  1. There was a comment that the MLB rule didn’t impact Ottoneu as much as this rule will, but I don’t think that is the point - Ottoneu has historically tried to mimic MLB rules and that has been true with Ohtani. While other platforms have split Ohtani and stuff, Ottoneu has always given you the same option the Angels had (you can use him as your SP or your DH but not both) until this year, when the Angels were suddenly allowed to use him as both. That change happened very last minute, so Ottoneu had to play catchup - that is all this is.

  2. This change is being made ahead of the trade deadline, before arbitration, ahead of keeper decisions - there is plenty of time for the league to adjust to the change before we get to games next year. If MLB can make this change basically the week the season is starting, think we can handle a change being made 9 months out with basically a full cycle of economic adjustments coming.

All in all, I don’t really think there is much to debate here (other than maybe a fun conversation about how much more you value Ohtani now than you did before which, at least for me, is “very little”). It’s the obvious right change and it’s being done with plenty of notice. Just my take on it!



These are all great points. I completely agree with the concept that even under the most aggressive concept of this, ohtani’s value has increased by at most $6ish dollars, and that a reasonable interpretation is likely a couple dollars. But then again, we’re all playing ottoneu, if we didn’t want to obsess over the details, we’d be on yahoo.

In regards to the timing, I maintain that teams are already preparing for next year. Look does this fundamentally change ottoneu, or the general value of the league? No, of course not.

Yeah, I agree with Chad that it will not meaningfully impact Ohtani’s value. And, even if it does move his value up a few bucks, arbitration can address it. I don’t have Ohtani anywhere, so I don’t have a dog in this fight. It’s really not something to be disappointed or upset about, IMHO.

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I’ll just chime in here with regards to timing, since that is the main concern I’m seeing.

I understand why people want more notice on changes like this. There is never a perfect amount of lead time for changes, no matter how marginal, in a game like Ottoneu. However, expecting changes to be implemented 1.5 years in the future limits Ottoneu’s ability to innovate and adapt. A 1.5 year lead time would also create confusion for what the rules are at any given time, and I’m not confident there’s any amount of lead time that would be immune from a “too soon” line of criticism.

I think 2/3 of a year, including a trade deadline, an arbitration period and a full off-season is plenty of time for any league to adapt to this change and similar, marginal changes to the site. Going forward, this should be the expectation - changes won’t come mid-season (as much as possible), but they will never be more than a year away, so that Ottoneu is never stuck in a purgatory of waiting for pending changes to finally go live before being able to consider other changes.


Good change! This is the most true-to-life implementation of two-way players I’ve ever heard of. You have found a way to capture Ohtani’s full value.

Is this solution unique within the entire fantasy baseball industry? If so, Kudos, Niv, for inventing it.

Either way, I’m sure this took a non-trivial amount of work to craft. Thank you for your ceaseless efforts to keep Ottoneu the best fantasy sports platform out there.


A post was merged into an existing topic: Missing stats Tor-Sea game 07/08/2022

2 posts were split to a new topic: Ohtani salary counting 2x in Roster Organizer

A post was merged into an existing topic: Ohtani salary counting 2x in Roster Organizer

Will Ohtani count as two roster spots toward a team’s 40-man cap next season, since he’s capable of being rostered in two slots on the same day?

Nope! He doesn’t count as two players against the MLB 26- or 40-man and MLB lets him play two positions when he pitches.

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i was thinking about finding another platform that allowed me to use ohtani like his real life team, but now i don’t have to!


Why could one not use Madison Bumgarner in DH in the year he was a league average and a 13% better than league average hitter? (That’s an admittedly kinda sarcastic question to head off the “we are just mirroring Real Baseball” argument that sometimes is used as justification for decisions, without acknowledging the myriad ways Ottoneu doesn’t mirror Real Baseball like the lack of a MLB salary cap, the draft, free agency, the capacity for an owner to spend the floor or multiples more than other teams to try to win, etc.)

My concern is that this works if and only if your league will be Year One in 2023 or maybe Year Two. For leagues that are older, we didn’t auction Ohtani in 2018 at a value reflective of his value next season, and we didn’t apply arb dollars to him as if he’d be potentially the system’s first and only 2000-point player, while occupying one roster slot. This is not a question of a player, whoa, blowing up like Soto or Trout. It’s a thing of shifting the rules around one player. In a league I play there is a 47 point gap between first and third. The guy in third has Ohatani, so it’s a rule that impacts one player and has a tangible impact.

Seems the fair thing to do would be to put a league out of arb for the year and do a vote-off so that Ohtani can be voted off, with every other team losing a player as well to balance it out, so that he can be auctioned off at a fair market value. Upthread there’s reference to his salary being $60 on average in first year leagues. His overall salary is 1/3 lower, a pretty good indication that in older leagues his salary is quite low.

His salary is lower in older leagues because he was less valuable 18 months ago because he hadn’t really put it all together and there were questions about him. His lower price in those leagues isn’t really relevant to this conversation at all.

Also the MadBum thing is completely irrelevant since he wasn’t allowed to be a DH - he was a pitcher and only a pitcher and pitchers aren’t eligible to be in Util spot. DH’s are.

Anyway, you can go back up thread and see the conversation, but this doesn’t change Ohtani’s value nearly as much as you might want to think. If you really think this $1-$3 increase in his value needs to be addressed, you should use arbitration to increase his price by $1-$3.

A post was merged into an existing topic: Ohtani salary counting 2x in Roster Organizer