Shohei Ohtani progressing to throwing ball from 60 feet in recovery from elbow surgery

Ohtani is not expected to pitch for the Dodgers this season

The Los Angeles Dodgers' game against the New York Mets was postponed on Monday due to rain, but that didn't stop Shohei Ohtani from getting some throwing work in as he continues his recovery from elbow surgery.

Before Monday's game was postponed (to be made as part of a doubleheader on Tuesday), Ohtani was in the visitors' bullpen throwing pitches despite the downpour. Afterward, he told reporters that he began throwing from 60 feet last week and was clocked at 80 mph.

"Just progressively increasing the distance," said Ohtani through an interpreter, via ESPN's Jorge Castillo. "Usually anywhere from 60-70 pitches, in that distance. 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 isn't expected to pitch for the Dodgers until next season following the surgical procedure that he underwent last September. (Agent Nez Balelo, and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache never specified whether or not Ohtani had a full Tommy John surgery, which the two-way star had in 2018.)

Yet his excellence on the mound was a significant factor in the gargantuan 10-year, $700 million contract that he signed with the Dodgers in December.

He began throwing in March and could progress to pitching in simulated games by September, according to the Dodgers.

Before his right elbow broke down last season, Ohtani compiled a 3.14 ERA and 10–5 record with 167 strikeouts in 132 innings. For his MLB career, he has a 3.01 ERA, 38–19 record, and 608 Ks in 481 2/3 innings (averaging 11.4 per nine frames).

The two-time American League MVP is again putting up MVP-caliber numbers as a hitter, leading MLB with a .336 average along with a .621 slugging percentage and 1.024 OPS, 17 doubles, 13 home runs, 35 RBI and 13 stolen bases.

Ohtani has also been dealing with a bruised hamstring sustained by getting hit with a pickoff throw last week. The injury hasn't caused him to miss any games.

But he was also told not to push his hamstring too much, which was apparent on a triple he hit versus the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday. Had Ohtani been able to run full speed, it's possible he could have scored an inside-the-park home run on the play.

Ohtani told reporters that the hamstring is "getting better day by day," but doesn't believe it's affecting his swing, despite batting .211 (8-for-38) in his past 10 games.