Another beautiful day in Glendale, Arizona inched us closer to opening day in March. The Dodgers and Shohei Ohtani were the story in baseball today as the two-time All-Star took to the backfields at Camelback Ranch for his first non-cage batting practice session of the spring. Ohtani cranked 10 home runs while taking just 21 swings off BP pitcher J.T. Watkins.

Some of those hacks can be watched below.

Shohei addressed the media after the session, stopping just short of declaring himself ready for opening day.

“I felt like the swings were feeling really good, which is a really good sign. I think it’s trending toward me being ready for Opening Day,” Ohtani said through his interpreter.

Notably, these were the first swings on the field Ohtani has taken since an oblique injury ended his season early last year with the Angels. Once it became clear that he’d be unable to return and hit for the final few games of the season, he opted to have a procedure done on his right elbow that will keep him off the mound in 2024 but a full participant at the plate.

Mookie Betts Arrives, Not Interested in World Series Statement

Dodgers star second baseman Mookie Betts also arrived to CBR on Monday, days ahead of the official position player report day on Wednesday. Betts was forced to face some questioning about his viral statement from early February’s DodgerFest where he declared that “every game [against the Dodgers] is going to be the other team’s World Series.” Betts said it was something that “just came up and there was nothing more to it.”

That aside, he also wasn’t interested in addressing the end of his 2023 season and his struggles in the playoffs, instead choosing to look forward to the upcoming season.

“That’s last year, it’s over with,” Mookie told reporters at his locker on Monday. “We got a new team, a new task — same goal, but new tasks in how we’re going to get there and I just gotta make sure I show up.”

To me, this is all fine. Mookie has nothing to gain from deep diving into things from the past. We’re here in 2024. Shohei Ohtani is a Dodger. And we’re all ready for the day when we get to say “It’s time for Dodger baseball” in earnest.

Mookie Betts Returns to Driveline

Of the more useful things a disinterested Mookie Betts mentioned in his 8ish minute scrum with reporters was that he did return to the Driveline baseball training facility this offseason and hoped to “yield similar results” this year to what he had a season ago.

Last winter, he added about 8 pounds of muscle at the suggestion of the training staff at Driveline and hit a career-high 39 home runs in 2023. But, he did go 0-11 in the postseason, something that is still stuck in the recent memory for fans.

“[They said] keep doing what I’ve been doing, Mookie said. “It did well last year, obviously… not at the right time, but it did do well last year.”

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Clint Pasillas
Clint Pasillas is owner and Editor in Chief of He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting about the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2008 and was the Lead Editor at Dodgers Nation as well as Inside the Dodgers, Halos Today, and Inside the Padres, all under the Sports Illustrated umbrella. Find him online on Twitter/X or his YouTube channel!