Shohei Ohtani greets his former Angels teammates, then is going hitless

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Shohei Ohtani greets his former Angels teammates, then is going hitless

Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) greets Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) before a spring training baseball game in Phoenix, Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Shohei Ohtani exchanged handshakes and hugs within the outfield with former teammates and coaches sooner than Tuesday evening’s Cactus League recreation at Camelback Ranch, and he posed arm-in-arm with Angels big name Mike Trout for an image that was once seen through 2.4 million folks on X (previously Twitter) through the top of the sport.

The brand new Dodgers designated hitter then went hitless with two strikeouts in 3 at-bats in a 4-0 exhibition loss to the workforce he spent his first six large league seasons with sooner than signing his historical 10-year, $700-million contract with the Dodgers in December.

A reasonably sparse, midweek, night-game crowd was once available for Ohtani’s first motion towards his former membership, giving the reunion the texture of an ordinary exhibition recreation for the Dodgers slugger. However Ohtani is aware of the feelings will almost certainly go with the flow extra freely when the Dodgers play a two-game sequence in entrance of a packed stadium in Anaheim on Sept. 3-4.

“I didn’t in reality really feel too bizarre or uncomfortable, as it roughly is what it’s,” Ohtani stated via his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara. “If I used to be taking part in on the Angels’ house [stadium], it will had been a little bit other tale.”

Quite a few Angels regulars, together with Trout, Taylor Ward, Brandon Drury, Logan O’Hoppe, Zach Neto and Matt Thaiss, made the go back and forth from Tempe. Ohtani, the American League most beneficial participant in 2021 and 2023, stated none expressed any onerous emotions towards the two-way big name for leaving.

“A large number of the men had been right here as of late, so I were given to meet up with maximum of them,” Ohtani stated. “They didn’t in reality give me a difficult time. It was once extra a large number of congratulations. They’re glad for me.”

Ohtani will probably be relegated to hitting this season whilst he recovers from remaining September’s Tommy John surgical treatment, the second one ligament-replacement process of the right-hander’s profession.

Learn extra: Albert Pujols, in Angels camp as visitor trainer, aspires to other identify: Supervisor

Ohtani has now not begun a throwing program in his restoration from elbow surgical treatment, however the hitting a part of his rehabilitation “is over formally,” he stated. “Now, I simply wish to get extra at-bats, have high quality at-bats, be capable of see the ball and get my timing down.”

Ohtani had reached base in seven immediately plate appearances sooner than placing out swinging on a 95-mph fastball from Angels right-hander Chase Silseth within the first inning and having a look at a 94-mph fastball for strike 3 towards left-hander Tyler Thomas within the 3rd. Ohtani flied out to middle towards Guillermo Zunig within the 5th.

Supervisor Dave Roberts stated Tuesday afternoon that Ohtani would take Wednesday off and play Thursday evening, however Ohtani stated he deliberate to play Wednesday, an afternoon recreation after an evening recreation.

“Simply having a look on the entire agenda and the entire stability, I felt it was once a great time to head back-to-back,” Ohtani stated. “That’s every other goal I wish to get to.”

Roberts has now spent a cast month of spring coaching with Ohtani, and he continues to wonder on the two-way big name’s paintings ethic and a focus to element within the coaching room, the batting cage and at the follow box. And that’s with Ohtani focusing best on hitting.

“I feel you pay attention issues, however till you spot it on a daily foundation, it is onerous to roughly in reality wrap your head round,” Roberts stated. “He’s a in reality targeted employee. You pay attention that, however seeing it in actual velocity, it is in reality attention-grabbing to look how methodical he’s, how regimented he’s.

“To look how briskly his frame strikes when he turns and rotates is beautiful superb. However we had a chicken-wing consuming contest and he was once there, provide. In my morning conferences, he is correct there, provide, guffawing together with everybody. So he is a lot more attractive than I almost certainly would’ve anticipated.”

Has the media’s restricted get admission to to Ohtani created an phantasm of him being extra standoffish or remoted than he in reality is?

“Um … perhaps,” Roberts stated. “That may well be the case, however that’s a difficult one to respond to. All I do know is that with us, when he is operating and he is within the clubhouse chatting with his teammates, it is been nice.”

The Dodgers’ media contingent has swelled this season to incorporate some 20-30 Jap newshounds who duvet Ohtani every day, however they don’t seem to be best right here to apply Ohtani’s each and every transfer.

They’re additionally right here to hide Jap right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who signed the largest contract ever awarded to a glass — 12 years and $325 million — sooner than throwing a large league pitch.

“It does really feel other,” Roberts stated, when requested how the protection of this workforce compares to star-studded golf equipment of the previous. “I feel you have got introduced in, to be fairly fair, a complete nation, necessarily every other continent. You could have introduced in two superstars from Japan.

Learn extra: Dodgers’ Yoshinobu Yamamoto says tipping pitches ‘now not in reality a large worry’ for him

“So with the media, I imply, it is two to a few occasions what we have ever had. And I feel it is simply nice for our recreation. They’re super athletes and nice males, so it is undoubtedly a lot other than we have ever noticed.”

Rehab file

Walker Buehler, the erstwhile ace who’s convalescing from his 2d Tommy John surgical treatment, isn’t anticipated to be activated till Might on the earliest, however Roberts stated the “hope” is the right-hander will make one Cactus League get started sooner than the workforce breaks camp.

Emmet Sheehan, who went 4-1 with a 4.92 ERA in 13 video games as a rookie remaining season, has been slowed through a sore shoulder and received’t pitch in Cactus League video games, opening the door for Gavin Stone or Ryan Yarbrough to win rotation spots. Sheehan, who was once close down for every week, has resumed throwing, however there is not any timetable for his go back.

Quick hops

Dodgers right-hander Bobby Miller appeared sharp in his scoreless three-inning get started Tuesday evening, giving up two hits, placing out one and strolling one. Relievers Blake Treinen and Evan Phillips threw scoreless innings for the Dodgers. … Max Muncy left the sport upon getting hit within the knee through a pitch within the 6th inning, however Roberts says he was once OK and anticipated to play Wednesday. … The Dodgers bought 25-year-old application infielder Andre Lipcius from the Detroit Tigers for money concerns and added him to their 40-man roster. A 3rd-round pick out of the Tigers out of Tennessee in 2019, Lipcius hit .266 with 38 homers, 88 doubles and 212 RBIs in 4 minor league seasons. He gave the impression in 13 video games for Detroit remaining season, hitting .286 with a homer and a double. … Backup catcher Austin Barnes was once scratched from Tuesday evening’s recreation on account of again tightness, however the harm isn’t believed to be severe.

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This tale initially gave the impression in Los Angeles Occasions.