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Shohei Ohtani to make spring training debut with Dodgers on Tuesday vs. White Sox

It’s finally time for Shohei Ohtani’s debut.

Ohtani will take the field as the designated hitter for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ spring training game against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday in Glendale, Arizona. It marks the first time that Ohtani, who is recovering from elbow surgery, will play with the Dodgers after he signed a record 10-year, $700 million deal with the team this offseason.

Ohtani has been slowly ramping up in spring training, and he faced live pitching from right-hander Jesse Hahn at practice on Sunday.

"He took three at-bats, and he looked good," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, via ESPN. "I thought today was a good day for Shohei."

Ohtani joined the Dodgers in December on his record deal after spending his first six seasons in the league with the Los Angeles Angels. The two-time MVP underwent surgery to repair the torn UCL in his pitching elbow in September, and he's been recovering ever since. He's not expected to pitch again until the 2025 season, though he'll bat this season for the Dodgers.

Ohtani, 29, had 44 home runs and 95 RBI last season with the Angels while holding a league-best 1.055 OPS. He has hit .274 in his career.

Ohtani said earlier this month that he felt like he was "already swinging close to 100 percent," and he looked great at a batting practice where he reportedly hit 10 home runs on just 21 swings.

It’s still unclear whether Ohtani will be healthy enough to be in the lineup for the Dodgers’ season-opener against the San Diego Padres on March 20 and 21 in South Korea. While it would be an incredible draw for the series if Ohtani, who was born in Ōshū, Japan, could participate, Roberts said he’s not willing to force anything.

"I do think that having him play certainly adds to the attention of the series, of the games," Roberts said, via ESPN. "But most importantly is his health. So, if it lines up, great. And if it doesn't, then we'll still move on from there."

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