Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani takes first on-field swings since elbow surgery

Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani took his first on-field batting practice Monday for the first time with his new team — and first time since he underwent elbow surgery last September.

Ohtani performed well in his 21 swings over two rounds of batting practice, hitting 10 home runs and topping out at 109 mph on exit velocity, per The Athletic. More importantly, Ohtani told reporters he said he felt “really good” and that he’s trending toward being ready for Opening Day.

The Dodgers’ season opener comes sooner than most MLB teams, as they will play two regular-season games against the San Diego Padres in Seoul, South Korea on March 20 and 21. 

Ohtani has been rehabbing after a torn UCL in his right throwing elbow suffered in August. The injury prematurely ended his 2023 American League MVP season with the Los Angeles Angels. Ohtani underwent surgery on that elbow in September and will only be a designated hitter, not a pitcher, for the Dodgers in 2024 with the goal of returning to the mound in 2025.

Ohtani signed a 10-year, $700 million contract with the Dodgers in December, $680 million of which is deferred until the following decade. He has won two MVPs in the last three years as the only baseball player in the modern era to succeed as both a pitcher and designated hitter on a routine basis. 

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Shohei Ohtani

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