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Shohei Ohtani throwing from 60 feet as recovery continues

KATIE STRATMAN-USA TODAY SPORTS
                                Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani runs the bases, Sunday, after hitting a single in the ninth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Eight months after undergoing Tommy John surgery, the Los Angeles Dodgers superstar is throwing a baseball from 60 feet — and his pitches have reached 80 miles per hour.
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KATIE STRATMAN-USA TODAY SPORTS

Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani runs the bases, Sunday, after hitting a single in the ninth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Eight months after undergoing Tommy John surgery, the Los Angeles Dodgers superstar is throwing a baseball from 60 feet — and his pitches have reached 80 miles per hour.

Eight months after undergoing Tommy John surgery, Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani is throwing a baseball from 60 feet — and his pitches have reached 80 miles per hour.

Ohtani, who is not expected to pitch in games until 2025, provided an update on his recovery Monday.

“Usually anywhere from 60-70 pitches, in that distance,” Ohtani said through an interpreter before Monday’s game against the New York Mets, which was postponed due to rain. “Just continuing to increase the distance and the pitches, and just seeing where that goes. I’m not quite sure how far I’m going to go out there, but that’s the progression.”

Ohtani underwent Tommy John surgery — the second of his career — in September as a member of the Los Angeles Angels. The recovery hasn’t slowed him down at the plate, where he leads the majors in batting average (.336). He also leads the National League in slugging percentage (.621) and OPS (1.024) and paces the Dodgers in home runs (13) and stolen bases (13).

Ohtani, who has appeared in 53 of L.A.’s 55 games as a designated hitter, has recently been playing through a hamstring contusion he suffered during a pickoff throw last week. He has remained in the lineup — Ohtani hasn’t missed a game since May 12 — but manager Dave Roberts told him to “be smart” with it.

Ohtani, who turns 30 on July 5, signed a 10-year, $700 million contract with the Dodgers this offseason. The two-way star won American League MVP awards in 2021 and 2023 in part for his prowess on the mound; over the last three seasons, he produced a 2.84 ERA in 72 starts, with 542 strikeouts in 428 1/3 innings pitched.

This article originally appeared in The Athletic.

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