Shohei Ohtani: ‘There’s A Nervousness’ On Start Days But Misses Pitching

Shohei Ohtani is being limited to hitting in his first year with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but fully expects to return to the mound during the 2025 season.

The 29-year-old established himself as an elite two-way player in his five seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, routinely ranking at the top in multiple hitting and pitching categories.

Despite his success as a pitcher, a report suggested that Ohtani would consider giving it up to become a full-time hitter if the Dodgers ever approach him about the possibility.

Ohtani admitted he feels more nervous on start days but still misses pitching, via Jack Harris of the L.A. Times:

“There’s a distinct nervousness on start days,” Ohtani said in Japanese on Monday, after updating reporters on the latest in his progression back from his second Tommy John surgery last year.

“I think that’s the same for everyone,” he added. “There’s a nervousness. So if I have to say whether I miss it — I miss it.”

Ohtani’s recent comments suggest he still has a passion for pitching and plans to continue implementing it as part of his game.

In parts of five seasons as a pitcher with the Angels, Ohtani went 38-19 with a 3.01 ERA, 3.30 FIP, 1.08 WHIP and 11.4 strikeouts per nine over 481.2 innings (86 starts). He finished fourth in American League Cy Young Award voting during the 2022 season.

Assuming he makes a full recovery from right elbow surgery, Ohtani should give the Dodgers rotation another frontline starter during the 2025 season.

Shohei Ohtani hit 80 mph in throwing program

Ohtani has been throwing from long distances as he ramps up his recovery and threw 80 mph from 60 feet in a recent session. Ohtani has not pitched in a big league game since Aug. 23, 2023, against the Cincinnati Reds.

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