Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers have made several high-profile additions to their roster this offseason, but none bigger than the signing of Shohei Ohtani to a 10-year, $700 million contract.
The two-way star won’t be able to pitch in 2024 while recovering from right elbow surgery, but he nonetheless is expected to serve as the Dodgers’ everyday designated hitter.
Ohtani gives the team another big bat to pair with Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman at the top of the lineup. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has not yet decided on the order and plans to speak with the three stars.
“I’ve thought through it,” Roberts said of the Dodgers’ potential Opening Day lineup. “Adding Teoscar, I thought was a big get as far as a middle-of-the-order bat.
“Assuming Gavin continues to get better and is ready for Opening Day, how you mix in C.T. and where, and obviously the big three everyone is talking about, for me, it’s just going to be have conversations with those guys.
“I don’t think we’re going to nail it from the outset and say what the first three is on Opening Day is going to be seamless the entirety of the season. It might happen, but I want Mookie, Freddie and Shohei to be part of the conversation.”
Betts and Freeman were locked into the top two spots of the Dodgers lineup for nearly every game in 2023, but the addition of Ohtani may end up changing that order.
Ohtani primarily hit second during his time with the Los Angeles Angels, but also slotted into the leadoff spot and was third on several occasions. The 29-year-old is coming off a year that saw him hit an American League-best 44 home runs en route to his second MVP Award.
As for the rest of the Dodgers lineup, the middle of the order could consist of Teoscar Hernández, Max Muncy and Will Smith. The bottom-third of the lineup figures to include some combination of Jason Heyward, Gavin Lux, James Outman and Chris Taylor.
Shohei Ohtani expects to be in Dodgers lineup for Seoul Series
Ohtani recently said that he anticipates being in the Dodgers lineup for the Seoul Series. “I’m very confident, because we’re right on schedule,” Ohtani said through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara when asked about being in the lineup for the regular-season opener in South Korea.
“We’re not ahead, we’re not behind. We’re right on schedule. So as long as there’s no setbacks going forward, I should be ready.”
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!