Dodgers Team News

Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani to Take a Rare Turn on the Bench

Shohei Ohtani will not start the second game of the Dodgers’ doubleheader against the New York Mets, manager Dave Roberts told reporters in advance of the first game Tuesday in Queens.

Will Smith will start at designated hitter instead, just the third time he’s taken a DH turn in the Dodgers’ first 57 games of the season.

Ohtani, 29, has recently been dealing with a hamstring contusion that has not prevented him from being in the starting lineup — until now. He is hitting .336 with 13 home runs, 35 RBIs and 13 stolen bases this season.

The only games Ohtani has begun on the bench this year have delivered mixed results. The Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-0 on May 1 with Smith as the DH. On May 12, the Dodgers were shut out 4-0 in San Diego. Ohtani has been in the Dodgers’ starting lineup in each of their other 53 games this season.

Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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JP Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra writes and edits Major League Baseball content for and is the author of 'The 50 Greatest Dodger Games Of All Time.' He once recorded a keyboard solo on the same album as two of the original Doors. Follow at

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