Two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani began his first spring training with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, as the club gets an early start to a season that will begin March 20 in Seoul with two games against the San Diego Padres.

Ohtani was seen at the Dodgers' facility outside Phoenix on Thursday, two days after Japanese compatriot Yoshinobu Yamamoto began working out at Camelback Ranch. Ohtani has resumed taking batting practice after last year's right-elbow surgery that will prevent him from pitching this year.

"I'm at a new team and I'm really taking it as though I'm in the first year of my career," Ohtani said. "Getting used to the environment is the priority."

Two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani meets the press at his first spring training with the Los Angeles Dodgers in Glendale, Arizona, on Feb. 9, 2024. (Kyodo)

"Everyone's nice and I've been enjoying things so far. I'm still around two months away from throwing a ball. I'll focus solely on my batting."

Ohtani and Yamamoto joined the Dodgers on record contracts over the winter. Many fans could be seen wearing the No. 17 shirt of Ohtani, who spent the day training in an indoor facility, while Yamamoto gave a friendly wave to spectators watching him as he practiced in the bullpen from the first day, hurling 21 pitches.

"The intensity is already near 100 percent," Ohtani said of his swing. "I'll soon proceed to batting against a hitting machine and actual pitches. It's not the first time. I did similarly in 2019 (following Tommy John surgery after the 2018 season), I know the process to a degree and I believe it'll go smoother this time."

"I think there'll be a lot more than one step to take. My preparation would change depending on where I'll be in the batting order, but there'd be no change to the skill I hone."

Fans visit the Los Angeles Dodgers' spring training site in Glendale, Arizona, on Feb. 9, 2024. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Ohtani, a two-time American League MVP and the AL's 2023 home run leader, signed Major League Baseball's richest contract, for $700 million over 10 years.

"I was able to see what makes it easy for me to maintain my form," Ohtani said of last season. "If I can understand why I'm doing things like conditioning in a certain way, it's easier to maintain form and get out of a slump fast. Learning that was positive last year."

Yamamoto moved to MLB from Japan's Orix Buffaloes via the posting system. His 12-year $325 million deal is the largest ever handed to a pitcher and Ohtani is ready to pass on his MLB experience.

"Of course, it's easy to communicate in Japanese...I think he'd say the same about me, too," Ohtani said. "Our lockers are next to each other and we'll have a lot of chances to talk. He's in his first year in the majors and I know more in some areas. I hope we keep working together."

The Padres' Japanese pitchers, Yu Darvish and Yuki Matsui, are set to begin their first official workouts Sunday, as San Diego, too, gets an early start in nearby Peoria. The Dodgers and Padres are due to play their first preseason exhibition against each other, on Feb. 22.

Pitchers and catchers for MLB's other 28 teams will begin working out starting next Wednesday in Arizona and Florida.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto (C) is pictured at spring training with the Los Angeles Dodgers in Glendale, Arizona, on Feb. 9, 2024. (Kyodo)

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