Dodgers’ Superman is still getting better and moving closer to returning to the mound following surgery…

Even though Shohei Ohtani has continued to be among the major leagues’ most prolific hitters this season, he is still making progress towards returning to the mound following Tommy John surgery.

Dodgers' Shohei Ohtani progressing in recovery from TJ surgery - ESPN

The great pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers claimed to have thrown at 80 mph from 60 feet last week.

Ohtani, speaking through a translator on Monday, said, “Just progressively increasing the distance,” prior to the postponement of the Dodgers’ series opener against the New York Mets. “Usually, in that range, between 60 and 70 pitches. Simply keep increasing the pitches and distance, and observe where that leads. It’s the evolution, albeit I’m not really sure how far I’ll go out there.”

As a member of the Los Angeles Angels, Ohtani had elbow surgery in September of last year after finishing 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA and 167 strikeouts in 132 innings across 23 starts. This season, he has been restricted to just hitting, but he is on track to have the finest offensive year of his major league career.

As the Dodgers’ designated hitter, Ohtani, 29, came into Monday leading the majors in both hitting average (.336) and total bases (131) through 53 games. In terms of slugging percentage (.621), OPS (1.024), and OPS+ (188), he led the National League.

Ohtani was struck by a pickoff throw last week, resulting in a hamstring contusion, which he has been playing through. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters over the weekend that he was urged not to press the hamstring, but he has remained in the lineup.

Ohtani claimed that while his running has been impacted, his swing has not.

“Every day is getting better,” he remarked. “Today is definitely a lot better than yesterday.”

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