Dodgers Team News

Shohei Ohtani Impressing Dodgers Coach With Ability to Hit While Rehabbing as a Pitcher

Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani is on his way to another outstanding season after coming off of an MVP season last year. Ohtani has slashed .329/.395/.606 while scoring 13 runs and collecting 35 RBIs. He ranks third in MLB in slugging percentage and hits, and is among the top 10 in home runs, batting average, runs, and on-base percentage. What makes his performance so far even more impressive is he’s doing this after undergoing surgery for a torn UCL.

Dodgers pitching coach Mark Prior praised Ohtani for doing so well as a hitter despite also working on his pitching rehab.

“It’s a very unique rehab. One that I don’t know outside of maybe probably some high school and college kids that you see. And to be able to hit at the clip that he’s hitting, to do what he’s been able to do offensively while trying to start a throwing program over these last four or five weeks and make those days and you go out and rehab and you’re making 50 throws and 60 feet and 70 feet. It’s very unique to watch and just be able to compartmentalize and, you know, one focus on being an elite hitter in today’s game as well as focus on a rehab concurrently is, he’s very, very impressive, to be honest. And so in some ways, it’s probably good. Maybe he has the distraction of hitting while he’s not while he’s doing the rehab.”

— Dodgers pitching coach Mark Prior, via MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM

Prior added that Ohtani’s hitting prowess is “incredible.”

“Like — everybody, I mean, everybody — is just in awe of what he can do with that,” Prior said.

Ohtani is not expected to pitch in a game until 2025, but he is making strong progress in his rehab. He has gradually increased the distance of his pitches, and even played catch during heavy rain on Monday in New York.

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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Eva Geitheim

Eva graduated from UCLA in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in Communication. She has been covering college and professional sports since 2022.

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