- Ohtani signed a surprising 10-year, $700 million contract with Los Angeles during the offseason.
- He underwent the second Tommy John surgery of his career in September.
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Shohei Ohtani is set to debut for the Los Angeles Dodgers in spring training on Tuesday after successfully recovering from elbow surgery.
Ohtani, who signed a surprising 10-year, $700 million contract with the Dodgers in the offseason, underwent the second Tommy John surgery of his career on his right elbow in September.
While he will not pitch in the 2024 season, the 29-year-old is expected to make his spring training bow against the Chicago White Sox in Glendale, Arizona, this Tuesday, when he will be the Dodgers’ designated hitter.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts watched Ohtani closely on Sunday as the latter faced the live pitch of right-hander Jesse Hahn.
“He took three at-bats and looked good,” Roberts told reporters. “I thought today was a good day for Shohei.”
Shohei Ohtani is in line to make his Los Angeles Dodgers debut in spring training on Tuesday.
Ohtani, who signed a surprising 10-year, $700 million contract with the Dodgers in the offseason, underwent the second Tommy John surgery of his career in September.
Ohtani won two unanimous American League MVP awards over six seasons (2018-2023) with the Los Angeles Angels.
His jump to the Dodgers has led to many fans flocking to the club’s spring training complex.
Los Angeles is proceeding cautiously with Ohtani, who recently said he feels he will be ready when the Dodgers open the season against the San Diego Padres on March 20-21 in Seoul, South Korea.
Roberts said the organization feels no pressure to have the Japanese-born Ohtani ready to play in the Seoul Series.
“I think having him play certainly increases the attention of the series, of the games,” Roberts said. ‘But the most important thing is his health. So if it lines up, great. And if not, we’ll move on from there.’
Ohtani, 29, won his second American League Most Valuable Player award last season when he hit .304 with 44 home runs and an AL-leading 95 RBIs in 135 games with the Los Angeles Angels. He led the American League with a .412 on-base percentage and led the majors with a .654 slugging percentage.
The 29-year-old is expected to make his spring training bow against the White Sox on Tuesday.
As a pitcher, Ohtani went 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA and recorded 167 strikeouts in 132 innings (23 starts). He limited opposing hitters to a .184 average.
Ohtani’s throwing efforts ended after he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow on August 23. The three-time All-Star continued to play as a hitter until he suffered an oblique injury on September 3.
Despite hitting 171 home runs and going 38-19 with a 3.01 ERA as a pitcher, Ohtani did not play in a single playoff game during his six seasons in Anaheim.