Dodgers Spring Training: Shohei Ohtani Won’t Debut Against Angels

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There’s been plenty of anticipation surrounding Shohei Ohtani since signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but the wait for his 2024 Cactus League is going to continue debut despite all the excitement.

Ohtani was not in the Dodgers lineup for the Cactus League opener on Thursday against the San Diego Padres. The Dodgers have three more games this weekend, including a matchup against the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday.

While it would have been a notable story for Ohtani to make his Dodgers debut against his former club, manager Dave Roberts ruled out that possibility.

“Shohei will not be playing this weekend, no,” Roberts said. “My expectation is sometime next week, but it won’t be this weekend.”

When Ohtani gets into a game, he should see a few at-bats as the designated hitter.

His build-up process is in line with the approach that the Dodgers have been taking for the past week as they feel there’s no reason to rush him.

The two-time MVP told Roberts that he would need 50 at-bats to be ready for the team’s first two games in Seoul, South Korea, against the Padres.

Ohtani is likely to get his 50 at-bats through a variety of different avenues, including live batting practice and simulated games, in addition to his Cactus League appearances.

Ohtani was also scheduled to face Yoshinobu Yamamoto for a live batting practice, but it didn’t end up happening.

“That ultimately, as I’m learning, when it happens, then it happens,” Roberts said. “I think it is scheduled, but I know that Yoshi is going to throw, I do know that.

“And then if Shohei decides to go out there, then it will be a fun show for all of us.”

Yamamoto ended up facing Freddie Freeman, Miguel Vargas and Jason Heyward, picking up multiple strikeouts looking and swinging over his two innings.

Shohei Ohtani and Teoscar Hernández take Dodgers social media by storm

A trio of new Dodgers quickly won the hearts and minds of Dodgers fans across social media on Wednesday during the team’s Photo Day. It was highlighted by a quick Spanish lesson between Teoscar Hernández and Ohtani, with a quick cameo from Yamamoto.

The Dodgers will be looking for all three to be significant contributors this season as the team hunts for their second World Series trophy in the past four seasons.

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