Dodgers Spring Training Updates: Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto & More

Originally published by

The Los Angeles Dodgers held their first full squad workout of Spring Training this week and things seem to be trending well overall for most players.

All eyes have been on Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto this spring, and both of them have lived up to early expectations by impressing in their hitting and bullpen sessions, respectively. Yamamoto has also been adjusting to using an MLB ball and the new rosin, which are both different than what he used in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB).

The Dodgers are one week away from their Cactus League opener against the San Diego Padres, and a little more than a month away from opening their season in Seoul, South Korea. With games closing in, here are the latest notes and updates from Spring Training at Camelback Ranch.

Dodgers Spring Training Updates

Shohei Ohtani taking live batting practice soon

As Ohtani recovers from his offseason elbow surgery, he is trending toward being ready for Opening Day in South Korea.

He was among the first players to report to Camelback Ranch and started hitting against a pitching machine before taking on-field batting practice earlier this week.

Now, Ohtani is moving closer to taking part in live batting practice, according to Juan Toribio of

#Dodgers manager Dave Roberts didn’t give an exact timeline, but said Shohei Ohtani will take part in live BP “soon.” And added it was going to be hard to eventually keep him out of Cactus League games.

— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) February 15, 2024

Taking swings in a live batting practice session would be an important step forward for Ohtani in his recovery. The 29-year-old has been progressing quicker than anticipated as he prepares to serve as the designated hitter for the 2024 season.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto throwing live batting practice session

Yamamoto has impressed teammates and coaches already, but all have come during controlled bullpen sessions. His next step is to begin throwing to hitters during live batting practice on the field, which is happening this weekend, according to Toribio:

#Dodgers Yoshinobu Yamamoto is also expected to throw live BP this weekend.

— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) February 15, 2024

The Dodgers are planning to start Yamamoto in one of their first two games in South Korea as he projects to serve as an ace of the rotation.

However, there may be a learning curve as he adjusts to a new league and schedule.

Miguel Vargas & Chris Taylor swapping positions?

Miguel Vargas entered the 2023 season as the Dodgers’ starting second baseman, but this year he has entered camp as a left fielder. Mookie Betts is expected to be the Dodgers everyday second baseman in 2024.

With Vargas making the transition to left field, he has been working out with the outfielders, per Toribio, and he even received some tips from Andre Ethier this spring:

#Dodgers outfield pairings in drills today:

LF: Teoscar Hernandez and Miguel Vargas
CF: James Outman, Manuel Margot
RF: Jason Heyward

— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) February 15, 2024

While Chris Taylor primarily saw time in left field during the 2023 season, he was working out with Betts at second base:

Chris Taylor and Mookie Betts at second.

— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) February 15, 2024

Taylor is likely to move around the field as a utility man, but he only played three games at second base in 2023, his fewest among any position he appeared at. The 33-year-old played 57 games in left field, 31 at shortstop, 28 at third base, and five in center field.

Gavin Lux launches home run

Gavin Lux was expected to be the Dodgers starting shortstop in 2023, but suffered a torn ACL and LCL in his right knee early in Spring Training. As he works his way back to his expected role, lLx was cleared for all baseball activities.

During a live batting practice session on Thursday, Lux launched a home run off Daniel Hudson that caught the eye of everyone watching.

Wow, Gavin.

— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) February 15, 2024

Lux is looking to get back on track and take another step forward this season. In 2022, he batted .276/.346/.399 with 33 extra-base hits over 129 games as the everyday second baseman.

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!