Kenta Maeda is facing an adjustment period and, while he has shown an elite level of pitchability already in his big league career, he could use all the advice he could get in order to make sure everything goes according to plan. That advice came from a fellow countryman that pitched against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday afternoon.
The man giving Maeda advice was Seattle Mariners right-hander Hisahi Iwakuma. As most know, Iwakuma was almost signed by the Dodgers this offseason, but the deal fell through after Iwakuma failed his physical. So, the veteran returned to Seattle. But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t willing to help out a friend.
“One thing that he told me that being able to adjust to the lifestyle and how it’s done here is probably the most important thing,” Maeda said through his interpreter after his Dodgers lost, 6-3, to Iwakuma’s Mariners on Monday at Camelback Ranch.
Adjusting to a new lifestyle can most certainly be a troublesome thing. Especially when great things are expected of you. It can wear on you and the burden can be a lot to bear. Hopefully, in Maeda’s case, that doesn’t actually happen. No one wants to see him struggle, and getting comfortable could ease that strain.
Maeda and Iwakuma were born in Japan, and their hometowns are separated by roughly 520 miles. Still, the two have found themselves in Major League Baseball, pitching for two organizations who want nothing but the best from them. Iwakuma is successful, and Maeda wants that level of success in his own right.
It would have been interesting if the two had ended up being teammates, but getting advice from Iwakuma still holds its own value. It was a nice gesture from the veteran right-hander, and the advice definitely did not fall on deaf ears. It’s just always nice to get help even if you think you don’t need it.