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Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani has been one of the best hitters in baseball this season and he’s doing it while rehabbing from elbow surgery in his spare time. Ohtani had his second career UCL surgery in September and started his throwing program in March, after the Dodgers returned home from the Seoul Series.

Prior to Monday’s rainout with the New York Mets, Ohtani provided an update on his rehab, and said his throwing program is going well. He’s already throwing from up to 60 feet. He added his throws have been clocked in the 80s. From MLB.com:

“Usually anywhere from 60-70 [throws],” Ohtani said through translator Will Ireton, when asked where he was in his progression. “Just continuing to increase the distance and the pitches, and just seeing where that goes. I’m not quite sure how far I’m gonna go out there, but that’s the progression.”

Tommy John surgery rehab is a lengthy process. The throwing program typically starts with tosses at 30 feet and is gradually stretched out to 120 or so feet over a period of several weeks. From there, the player throws in the bullpen, then to hitters in batting practice, then to rehab games. In other words, Ohtani will not pitch this season. He will DH only and return to the mound in 2024.

“I think any starting pitcher can tell you that there’s a little bit of nervousness going into a game you start,” Ohtani told reporters. “In a sense, I do miss that kind of atmosphere. But right now I’m really just focusing on progressing every day, really focusing on that.”

Ohtani, 29, is hitting .336/.403/.621 with 13 home runs this season. He leads the league in batting average, slugging percentage, OPS (1.024), OPS+ (188), and total bases (131). A year ago, Ohtani won AL MVP unanimously while hitting .304/.412/.654 with a league-leading 44 home runs, and throwing 132 inning with a 3.14 ERA and 67 strikeouts.

The Dodgers enter play Tuesday in first place in the NL West at 33-22. They have lost their last five games, however. It is their longest losing streak since a six-gamer in April 2019.

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