The Los Angeles Dodgers signing of two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani justifiably created an unparalleled buzz around the city. The reigning unanimous American League MVP and the best player in baseball brought historic attention to Los Angeles as the Dodgers look to make it back to the World Series after a three-year hiatus.
Baseball fans around the world are counting down the days for when the Japanese superstar will take the field in a Dodgers uniform. The first batting practice of the season offered a glimpse of what it might look like for the 29-year-old who just signed the largest contract in professional sports history with the Dodgers.
Dodgers News: Shohei Ohtani Wows In His First Post-Surgery Practice
Ohtani is coming off a UCL tear in his right elbow. Only having had surgery in September, Ohtani will not be pitching in 2024. This only made his first batting practice that much more intriguing for fans who wanted to see how he looked post-surgery.
Shotime erased all potential question marks and concerns related to his rehab with his batting practice performance. According to Juan Toribio of MLB.com, Ohtani hit 10 home runs in 21 swings on Monday, looking as impressive as ever.
This increases the likelihood of the Dodgers superstar suiting up for their season opener against the Padres in Seoul, South Korea on March 20. Earlier last week, Ohtani said he was "very confident" about his chances of playing next month.
He was also happy with how the first practice went as he took pitches from J.T. Watkins on the field at Camelback Ranch.
"I felt really good overall. Every swing got really strong with some good results. I think it’s trending towards me being ready for Opening Day"- Ohtani on his first batting practice
The Dodgers will continue to monitor how their star's elbow responds to the swings. Unless there aren't any significant setbacks, Dodgers fans likely see him debut in a little over a month.
Ohtani currently has the fourth-best odds (+950) to win the National League MVP. However, with how good he looked on Monday, he might have as good a chance as any to take home the award.
Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.