Shohei Ohtnani: ‘Body Is Reacting Really Well’ To Dodgers Spring Training Workouts

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The Los Angeles Dodgers begin their Spring Training schedule Thursday against the San Diego Padres, but Shohei Ohtani is not in the lineup for their matchup at Peoria Sports Complex.

The two-way star remains on the mend from right elbow surgery that is going to prevent him from pitching this season. Less of a concern but still part of Ohtani’s injury history is the right oblique irritation that ended his 2023 season two weeks early.

After hitting off a pitching machine in his first couple days at Camelback Ranch, Ohtani advanced to taking batting practice on the field and he twice has faced pitching during Dodgers Spring Training workouts.

While it’s been encouraging to reach checkpoints along the way to being in the Dodgers lineup for Opening Day in South Korea, what is more key for Ohtani is he hasn’t experienced any setbacks physically.

“I’m feeling seeing the ball well. Elbow-wise, there’s nothing there, which is a really good sign,” Ohtani said through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara.

“My body is reacting really well so far.”

This is a second time Ohtani is navigating recovering from right elbow surgery while preparing for a new season. However, there are differences from the first time.

Ohtani had Tommy John surgery on Oct. 1, 2018, which prevented him from pitching until the 2020 season that was ultimately delayed in starting because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

As for filling a designated hitter role for the Los Angeles Angels in 2019, Ohtani began that season on the 10-day injured list and wasn’t activated until the first week of May.

Ohtani has maintained throughout the offseason that he won’t need to begin the 2024 season on the IL.

Shohei Ohtani at-bats

Thus far on two days of logging at-bats against Dodgers pitchers, Ohtani has faced Ryan Brasier, Blake Treinen, J.P. Feyereisen, Daniel Hudson and Ryan Yarbrough.

Ohtani has logged a total of five at-bats and hit one home run. He hopes to take 50 at-bats during Spring Training, whether in Cactus League play, simulated games or more live batting practice.

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