Shohei Ohtani said he topped out at 97 mph while throwing live batting practice on Wednesday, an encouraging development for the Los Angeles Angels.

Ohtani hasn't pitched regularly since the start of the 2018 season.

The 26-year-old made his highly anticipated return from Tommy John surgery during the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season, but he lasted two starts -- recording only five outs -- before straining the flexor pronator mass near his surgically repaired elbow. Ohtani only played as a hitter after that.