When Will Shohei Ohtani Make His Spring Training Debut?

The reigning AL MVP will not play in the Dodgers' spring opener on Thursday.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Shohei Ohtani in the offseason, all eyes have been on the two-way superstar, awaiting his debut with his new team. Unfortunately for the fans, they are going to have to wait a little longer to see the best player in baseball in Dodgers colors.

Ohtani, who has been recovering from a right elbow surgery he had in September, has been taking swings on the field for the first time since his procedure. He looked as good as ever doing so. This understandably created a ton of buzz and excitement in Los Angeles.

However, the reigning American League MVP did not participate in live batting practice Sunday, putting his spring training debut on hold.

When Will Shohei Ohtani Debut for the LA Dodgers?

Larry Lage of the Associated Press reported that Ohtani will miss the spring opener against the San Diego Padres on Thursday.

Yet, this isn't necessarily bad news for Dodgers fans. In fact, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that the team is very encouraged by the progress Ohtani has made.

""He's a lot further along than I think any of us -- maybe not named Shohei -- would have expected. He's worked really hard, very diligent in his work, so he's ahead of schedule."

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts on Ohtani

It is still unclear whether Ohtani is going to play in a Cactus League game in the spring. Roberts said the two-time MVP could start getting some game action "shortly thereafter".

The Dodgers are in no rush for the return of their two-way superstar. Ohtani will not be pitching this season as part of the recovery process but he looks like he will be ready to hit in the March 20 opener against the Padres.

Ohtani currently has the fourth-best odds (+950) to win the National League MVP. Head over to FanDuel Sportsbook to take advantage of their sign-up offer of $150 in bonus bets when you make a winning wager of $5.

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