When will Shohei Ohtani play for Dodgers? Latest news, schedule for 2024 spring training debut

Shohei Ohtani has already been seen hitting home runs in batting practice while wearing Dodger blue, and Los Angeles fans won’t have to wait much longer to watch it happen in a spring training game.

Ohtani is making his recovery from offseason elbow surgery, which will prevent him from pitching in 2024. He will still be batting, following his ’19 model where he only hit after recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Though Ohtani is at camp and has shown an impressive swing, the highest-paid player in baseball is not rushing back to full-time action. The Dodgers are going to ensure they protect their investment with a focus on keeping him healthy for the second half of the 2024 campaign, particularly the playoffs, rather than rushing him back.

When will Ohtani be making his spring training Dodgers debut? Here’s the latest.

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Latest news for Shohei Ohtani’s spring training debut

Ohtani’s spring training debut with the Dodgers officially has a date.

The two-time MVP will suit up for Los Angeles’ exhibition game against the White Sox on Tuesday, Feb. 27, MLB.com’s Juan Toribio reported.

The Dodgers began their spring training schedule earlier than anyone except the Padres due to the two NL West teams facing off against one another in Seoul, South Korea, for the Seoul Series on March 20-21.

However, that didn’t mean Ohtani was ready to make his debut for the Dodgers’ first spring training game.

Manager Dave Roberts confirmed Ohtani would not be playing in the spring training opener despite recently taking live batting practice and hitting a home run in his first session.

Ohtani has been given plenty of leeway with his offseason workouts. He was permitted to go through different activities than what the team had prepared for him earlier in spring training, per the LA Times, a level of independence not uncommon for star players. 

Roberts noted Ohtani is a different player altogether than other vets who have received that freedom in the past. For starters, “he knows his body better than anyone,” particularly when it comes to best practices for coming back from surgeries, which he has done in the past.

“And No. 2, we’re still trying to learn him,” Roberts said, per the Los Angeles Times. “So I think for the organization to say, ‘This is what you have to do,’ I don’t think that’s the right process. There’s got to be trust on both sides.

“… When he feels like he’s ready to play in a game, he’ll play in a game.”

Ohtani appears to be ready to go, set to make his Dodgers debut this week.

Dodgers spring training schedule

Date Time (ET) Matchup Location
Feb. 22 3:10 pm Dodgers at Padres Peoria Stadium, Peoria, Ariz.
Feb. 23 3:08 pm Padres at Dodgers Camelback Ranch, Glendale, Ariz.
Feb. 24 3:10 pm Dodgers at Angels Tempe Diablo Stadium, Tempe, Ariz.
Feb. 25 3:05 pm Athletics at Dodgers Camelback Ranch, Glendale, Ariz.
Feb. 26 3:10 pm Dodgers at Rockies Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Feb. 27 3:05 pm White Sox at Dodgers Camelback Ranch, Glendale, Ariz.
Feb. 28 3:05 pm Dodgers at Rangers Surprise Stadium, Surprise, Ariz.
Feb. 29 8:05 pm Dodgers at Reds Goodyear Ballpark, Goodyear, Ariz.
March 1 8:05 pm Guardians at Dodgers Camelback Ranch, Glendale, Ariz.
March 2 3:10 pm Dodgers at Brewers American Family Fields of Phoenix, Phoenix, Ariz.
March 2 3:05 pm Cubs at Dodgers Camelback Ranch, Glendale, Ariz.
March 3 3:05 pm Rockies at Dodgers Camelback Ranch, Glendale, Ariz.
March 5 8:05 pm Angels at Dodgers Camelback Ranch, Glendale, Ariz.
March 6 3:05 pm Dodgers at White Sox Camelback Ranch, Glendale, Ariz.
March 7 9:05 pm Dodgers at Giants Scottsdale Stadium, Scottsdale, Ariz.
March 8 8:05 pm Reds at Dodgers Camelback Ranch, Glendale, Ariz.
March 9 3:05 pm Rangers at Dodgers Camelback Ranch, Glendale, Ariz.
March 10 4:05 pm D-backs at Dodgers Camelback Ranch, Glendale, Ariz.
March 11 4:05 pm Dodgers at Guardians Goodyear Ballpark, Goodyear, Ariz.
March 12 4:05 pm Giants at Dodgers Camelback Ranch, Glendale, Ariz.
March 13 4:05 pm Mariners at Dodgers Camelback Ranch, Glendale, Ariz.
March 16 11:00 pm Dodgers at Kiwoom Heroes Gocheok Sky Dome, Seoul, South Korea
March 18 6:00 am Korea at Dodgers Gocheok Sky Dome, Seoul, South Korea
March 20 6:05 am Dodgers at Padres* Gocheok Sky Dome, Seoul, South Korea
March 21 6:05 am Padres at Dodgers* Gocheok Sky Dome, Seoul, South Korea
March 24 7:10 pm Angels at Dodgers Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, Calif.
March 25 9:10 pm Angels at Dodgers Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, Calif.
March 26 9:07 pm Dodgers at Angels Angel Stadium, Anaheim, Calif.

* – Seoul Series games will be regular-season contests 

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