DETROIT (WJBK/AP) - Shohei Ohtani turned out of the visiting clubhouse at Comerica Park and took several steps before stopping to select his bat out of a huge crate filled with lumber.
The AL Rookie of the Year took a couple swings in the hallway and smiled before batting practice indoors.
Ohtani's long wait for his season debut was over.
The Los Angeles Angels activated him from the injured list before Tuesday night's game at Detroit and he was in the lineup batting third as the designated hitter.
"Baseball is certainly not the type of sports that you focus on one night," Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. "We're looking at using him as a DH for the vast majority of the next 4½ months. I'm not overly concerned about the immediate results, but just the long-term results."
The 24-year-old Ohtani is not expected to pitch this year as he recovers from Tommy John surgery on Oct. 1, but the Angels projected the two-way star would be able to bat in major league games at some point in May.
"He injects some offense, for sure," Ausmus said. "He's got big power."
Ohtani hit .285 with 22 homers and 61 RBIs in 367 plate appearances last year. He became the first player since Babe Ruth with at least 10 homers and four pitching wins in the same season. As a DH, Ohtani became the first player with 15 homers as a batter and 50 strikeouts as a pitcher in the same season.
He was 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA and 63 strikeouts over 51 2/3 innings in 10 starts, limited by a torn right elbow ligament that required surgery. Ohtani has said he has "no regrets" about last year when he hit for the Angels until season's end and delaying reconstructive surgery and his ability to pitch again until 2020.
Los Angeles Angels (15-19, fourth in the AL West) vs. Detroit Tigers (15-16, third in the AL Central)
Detroit; Tuesday, 7 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: Angels: Griffin Canning (0-0, 6.23 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 6 strikeouts) Tigers: Daniel Norris (0-0, 3.47 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 19 strikeouts)
LINE: Angels favored by 1 1/2 runs; over/under is 8 1/2 runs
BOTTOM LINE: Mike Trout and the Angels will take on Detroit at Comerica Park.
The Tigers are 8-6 on their home turf. Detroit is slugging .374 as a unit. Ronny Rodriguez leads the team with a .711 slugging percentage, including 10 extra-base hits.
The Angels are 4-10 on the road. Los Angeles has slugged .409 this season. Trout leads the team with a mark of .560. This is the first meeting of the season for these two teams.
TOP PERFORMERS: Miguel Cabrera leads the Tigers with 36 hits and has 13 RBIs. Christin Stewart is 11-for-35 with five doubles, a triple, two home runs and 11 RBIs over the last 10 games for Detroit.
Kole Calhoun leads the Angels with eight home runs and is batting .215. Jonathan Lucroy is 7-for-34 with four home runs and seven RBIs over the last 10 games for Los Angeles.
LAST 10 GAMES: Tigers: 4-6, .250 batting average, 6.54 ERA, outscored by 23 runs
Angels: 6-4, .252 batting average, 5.56 ERA, outscored by two runs
Tigers Injuries: Jordan Zimmermann: 10-day IL (elbow), Matt Moore: 60-day IL (knee), Blaine Hardy: 10-day IL (forearm), Michael Fulmer: 60-day IL (elbow), Christin Stewart: 10-day IL (quad), Josh Harrison: 10-day IL (shoulder).
Angels Injuries: JC Ramirez: 60-day IL (elbow), Keynan Middleton: 60-day IL (elbow), Andrew Heaney: 10-day IL (elbow), Cody Allen: 10-day IL (spine), Justin Upton: 60-day IL (toe), Michael Hermosillo: 10-day IL (groin), Tommy La Stella: day-to-day (back tightness), Zack Cozart: 10-day IL (head/neck), Shohei Ohtani: 10-day IL (elbow).