Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani cleared to begin throwing program later this week – Orange County Register

Shohei Ohtani Set to Start Throwing Program This Week, Dodgers Confirm

In Seoul, South Korea, Shohei Ohtani is making strides towards his comeback. Six months following his second elbow surgery, he’s now ready to begin a throwing program. Dave Roberts, the Dodgers’ manager, shared this exciting update on Monday, revealing that Ohtani’s throwing regimen is set to kick off later this week.

Roberts expressed anticipation for Ohtani’s return to the States, where he will officially start his throwing exercises. The progression of this program is something the team is keenly looking forward to. Dr. Neal ElAttrache, the surgeon responsible for Ohtani’s operation last September, mentioned in a recent discussion that Ohtani could be pitching to hitters by late September if everything goes according to plan. This timeline, however, was news to Roberts.

Roberts remains hopeful, trusting in Dr. ElAttrache’s expertise and acknowledging the potential for Ohtani’s early return. Yet, he also reiterated the team’s stance of not expecting Ohtani to pitch until 2025. Despite this, the possibility of Ohtani playing in the field later this season hasn’t been ruled out, contingent on his arm’s recovery.

For now, the focus is on Ohtani’s role as a designated hitter, even though he has previously spent a bit of time playing in the outfield during his tenure with the Angels. The Dodgers, facing a shortage of position players, have seen their players, including first baseman Freddie Freeman, taking on full games during exhibition matches. Freeman, who faced a particularly grueling game against the Kiwoom Heroes, shared his exhaustion but also recognized the value of getting more at-bats, especially as he works on fine-tuning his swing this spring.

In other team news, the Dodgers have made a roster addition by officially bringing veteran reliever Daniel Hudson on board. Hudson, who had signed a minor-league contract in the offseason, now finds a spot on the 40-man roster. This move required the team to designate infielder Andre Lipcius for assignment, a recent acquisition from the Detroit Tigers.