Dodgers DH Shohei Ohtani, P Yoshinobu Yamamoto on track to start in Seoul Series

Baseball fans in South Korea are still on track to get the first look at Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto in their new Los Angeles Dodgers' threads.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told the media on Tuesday that Ohtani is on track to start at designated hitter, while Yamamoto and fellow pitcher Tyler Glasnow are considered "safe bets." Los Angeles will play a two-game series from March 20-21 in the Seoul Series versus the San Diego Padres.

Roberts did caution that things could change in the next month, but for now, fans in Seoul will see all three free agent acquisitions in their debuts with the Dodgers.

"This is a unique ramp-up for everyone," Roberts said during a Cactus League media event. "It's two games that matter, but it's just two games. So the entirety of the season and making sure these guys are ready to take down starts — that's most important."

Since Los Angeles and San Diego are playing earlier than the other 28 teams in the league, their players are ahead of their usual schedule. Ohtani has already crushed a home run in his first live-batting practice, while Glasnow and Yamamoto have also gotten a few reps in against batters at the Dodgers' spring training facility.

Ohtani was the hottest name in this year's free agency class and announced his decision to sign a 10-year, $700 million contract to join the Dodgers after spending his first six seasons in MLB with the Los Angeles Angels. He won't pitch this season as he continues to recover from his elbow surgery, and will only play designated hitter in his first season with the Dodgers.

As such, that still left the team with a need for pitchers, which the Dodgers resolved the day Ohtani was introduced by the front office.

On Dec. 14, Los Angeles agreed to trade for Glasnow, who'd signed a five-year, $136.6 million extension, from the Tampa Bay Rays. A week later, Yamamoto, who won three consecutive MVPs in Japan, was signed to a 12-year, $325 million contract.

Even though both Ohtani and Yamamoto are Japanese, Roberts expects a warm reception in South Korea, as both players have huge fan bases in the country.

If the opportunity to play both players in the same game arises, the Dodgers will do so. It just has to make sense for where they both are in their respective recoveries.

"I think it's fair to say that's our hope," Roberts said. "But I don't think I am — or we are — beholden to that if it doesn't make sense."

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