Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The start of 2024 Los Angeles Dodgers Spring Training is on the horizon as pitchers and catchers are due to report to camp by Friday and the first full-squad workout is scheduled for February 14.
However, the Dodgers have a long history of position players reporting early and this year that is being headlined by Shohei Ohtani already arriving at Camelback Ranch. Ohtani went through a workout at the Dodgers’ Spring Training facility on Monday, which was captured by Nikkan Sports.
Photos from the outlet show Ohtani going through drills with Dodgers strength and conditioning coach Travis Smith as interpreter Ippei Mizuhara and others look on.
During his appearance on the DodgerFest main stage, Ohtani told the 35,000 fans in attendance his close friendship with Mizuhara was “just business.” The joke offered a glimpse into the easy-going nature the two-way superstar has off the field.
Ohtani already beginning his workouts at Camelback Ranch does not come as a surprise. He was a regular visitor at Dodger Stadium after signing with the Dodgers, which began the process of familiarizing himself with the organization.
“I didn’t get to meet the whole staff yet, but I got to meet most of the staff,” Ohtani said through Mizuhara during DodgerFest. “They’ve been really great so far and great communication. I’m looking forward to working with them.”
Ohtani saw his 2023 season end two weeks early due to being placed on the 15-day injured list with right oblique inflammation. He already had undergone right elbow surgery, which has not been described by the 29-year-old or his agent as a second Tommy John, but still is not expected to pitch until the 2025 season.
Shohei Ohtani on track for Dodgers Opening Day
When asked about his health at DodgerFest, Ohtani said he had not yet started taking batting practice but anticipated doing so in the near future and being the Dodgers lineup when they open the 2024 regular season with the Seoul Series.
“I’m very confident, because we’re right on schedule. We’re not ahead, we’re not behind. We’re right on schedule,” Ohtani said. “So as long as there’s no setbacks going forward, I should be ready.”
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