Dodgers' Shohei Ohtani contemplating entering Home Run Derby, but manager Dave Roberts wary of participation

Ohtani took part in the 2021 event, losing to Juan Soto in the first round

Shohei Ohtani back in the Home Run Derby? The Los Angeles Dodger is contemplating competing in the 2024 edition on July 15 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, but ultimately, the decision might not be his.

Following his right elbow surgery in September, Ohtani, who signed a 10-year, $700 million contract to leave the Los Angeles Angels for the Dodgers, is strictly a hitter this season, and the MVP favorite currently leads the NL with 25 home runs and all of MLB with a .322 batting average.

When asked Tuesday by Japanese reporters about participating in the Home Run Derby, Ohtani said he has "feelings of wanting to do it." But before he would enter, he said he would have to speak to the Dodgers' medical staff and his team.

Ohtani, who will turn 30 on July 5, was part of the 2021 Home Run Derby, the only time he participated in the event. He lost in a memorable first-round matchup with Juan Soto, then of the Washington Nationals.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he wouldn't want Ohtani to take part in the Home Run Derby because of the amount of energy needed to take that many swings, and he wouldn't want Ohtani to risk messing up his current elbow rehabilitation.

But Roberts also understands what Ohtani in the Home Run Derby would mean for baseball.

"The one side of it, for him to be in the Home Run Derby, it's great for baseball, clearly," Roberts said before the Dodgers' 4-0 win over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday. "The other side of it, on the manager of the Dodgers side of it, you're trying to be more cautious and appreciating the fact that there's a lot more swings, higher intensity, you know, going through the rehab process with his elbow.

“But for me, personally, it’s just defaulting to the player and supporting Shohei in whatever he chooses.”

As Ohtani continued his home run prowess with a solo shot Wednesday, he set a Dodgers franchise record with an RBI in his 10th straight game.

Ohtani was also fortunate enough to not exit the game early — or have his Home Run Derby entry put into jeopardy — thanks to a Dodgers bat boy for this catch.

MLB will announce 2024 All-Star rosters and the Home Run Derby entrants soon. One big name who won't be entering the Home Run Derby is New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, who leads all players with 30 homers. "There's no need this year," said Judge, who won the event in 2017.