The team introduced Ohtani and gave the baseball world a first look at the 2-way star in Dodger blue.
Thursday’s presser means fans finally got a chance to hear Ohtani speak publicly – not only for the first time as a Dodger but also for the first time in weeks. Ohtani spoke briefly with MLB Network via video call in mid-November when he won his second MVP Award with his dog sitting next to him.
He also "took the field" in uniform shortly after Thursday's Q&A.
Below were some of the questions answered by the Japanese slugger as he put on his Dodger cap for the first time in public:
What is the name of Ohtani’s dog?
The 2-way star’s pup stole the show during the MLB Network’s award announcements back in November. As of Thursday morning, there have been no reports of what the dog’s name is.
FOX 11's Kyle Kraska asked Ohtani what the pup's name was. Ohtani revealed it is "Dekopin." But because it is a tough name to pronounce "デコピン" in English, he says friends of the pup can call him "Decoy" for short.
Hours after the press conference, Dekopin made a cameo on Ohtani's Instagram page:
When will Ohtani pitch?
Multiple reports say he won’t be able to pitch until 2025 at the earliest. On Thursday, Ohtani confirmed he will not throw in the entirety of the 2024 season due to elbow surgery he underwent in September 2023.
Ohtani did not explicitly say he underwent Tommy John surgery. He told the media to "ask his doctor" for clarification on what kind of surgery the two-way star elected for in September.
Will Ippei Mizuhara be there?
Longtime interpreter Ippei Mizuhara has been known as a viral sidekick to Ohtani. Mizuhara, who was Ohtani's interpreter with the Los Angeles Angels and Samurai Japan during the 2023 World Baseball Classic, will follow baseball's "unicorn" to Chavez Ravine.
Prior to sharing the spotlight during Thursday's press conference, the Dodgers posted on social media welcoming the duo on their arrival at Dodger Stadium.
On Wednesday, Mizuhara issued a heartfelt thank-you note on social media to Angels fans after working for the team from 2018 to 2023: