Dodgers Spring Training Video: Shohei Ohtani Begins Hitting Off Pitching Machine

Los Angeles Dodgers Spring Training starts Friday with pitchers and catchers holding their first official workout, and they’ll be joined by position players on Wednesday.

Like in previous years, players started reporting early to Camelback Ranch, including Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Ohtani was photographed by Nikkan Sports as he went through drills with Dodgers strength and conditioning coach Travis Smith while interpreter Ippei Mizuhara and others look on.

More encouraging is another day of workouts for Ohtani included taking swings while facing the pitching machine, via NHK:

During his appearance at DodgerFest last weekend, Ohtani said he had been limited to “hitting flips.”

“Once we get to Arizona, I think I’ll start facing the machine,” Ohtani added.

The 29-year-old remains on the mend from right elbow surgery that was completed last September. It’s preventing him from pitching this season but Ohtani and the Dodgers have maintained confidence it would not affect the two-way star at the plate come Spring Training or the regular season.

Working against Ohtani is the Dodgers having an earlier start to Spring Training and condensed Cactus League schedule because of opening the 2024 season with the Seoul Series from March 20-21.

Shohei Ohtani expects to play by Dodgers Opening Day

When asked about his recovery from elbow surgery and outlook moving forward, Ohtani expressed confidence he would be in the Dodgers’ Opening Day lineup.

“I’m very confident, because we’re right on schedule. We’re not ahead, we’re not behind. We’re right on schedule,” Ohtani said. “So as long as there’s no setbacks going forward, I should be ready.”

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