Even the aftermath of elbow surgery cannot prevent Shohei Ohtani from participating in the Seoul Series. The player himself expressed strong intention to participate.
U.S. local media MLB.com reported on the 4th (Korea time), “Ohtani, who has undergone surgery on his right elbow and is currently rehabilitating, will start as a designated hitter in the league’s opening game at Gocheok Dome in Seoul.”
On the same day, Ohtani participated in the Dodgers Fan Festival held at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California, and said, “I am confident that I will play in the opening game,” adding, “I am doing well in my rehabilitation schedule. Rehabilitation is neither fast nor slow. However, I will not have any problem returning to the game in time for the opening game.”라바카지노
The official opening game of the 2024 Major League Baseball season will start on March 20 from the Seoul Series. Ohtani will play two consecutive games against the San Diego Padres, with Kim Ha-sung and Ko Woo-seok.
There will also be a special match before the opening game. Starting with a game between the Dodgers and Kiwoom Heroes at 12 p.m. on March 17, Team Korea and San Diego will face off at 7 p.m. on the same day. A special match between the San Diego Padres and the LG Twins at 12 p.m. on March 18, and Team Korea and the Dodgers at 7 p.m. will be held.
What drew the most attention was whether Ohtani would play or not. Ohtani signed a 10-year, 700 million-dollar contract with the Dodgers during the offseason, the largest amount of professional sports contracts in the world.
However, Ohtani had elbow surgery in September last year and was still not in full physical condition. Some Japanese media argued that Ohtani does not have to take a risk to play the opening two games.
Still, Ohtani displayed different commitments. “I am 100 percent betting on tee and toss. When the spring camp begins, I will hit pitches thrown by pitching machines and batting ball pitchers. I am confident that I will play in the opening game once again,” he stressed.
“I can’t play as a pitcher right away. However, there are no restrictions on batting training. I will do rehabilitation training to the extent that I don’t overdo it,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts predicted the batting lineup for the opening game. “We are planning a lineup of Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, No. 2 and Ohtani as the first hitter in the opening game,” Roberts said.
“The Dodgers will be the center of baseball and sports. It will be about raising the standards of all of us,” he added.