One of the biggest questions that flew in after this adventurous offseason was “how will the Los Angeles Dodgers replace Cy Young Award runner-up Zack Greinke?” in the rotation. The team went out and signed a couple of pitchers, but one of them has taken over the sport because of his unwavering dominance just four starts into his career.

Right-hander Kenta Maeda has not only replaced Zack Greinke for the time being, but he’s also outperformed Greinke. Through his first four starts last season, Greinke was masterful and had a 1.35 in 26.2 innings. In his first four starts this season, Maeda has a 0.36 ERA in 25.1 innings. Maeda’s recorded four fewer outs, but given up two fewer runs.

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From Houston Mitchell, contact reporter for the Los Angeles Times:

He is going to hit a rough patch at some point, but he has the temperament and skills to ride that out and be a contributor to the team for years.  People keep asking how the Dodgers can possibly replace Zack Greinke. Well, look on the mound when Maeda pitches.

As Mitchell notes, Maeda will hit a rough patch. He absolutely has to. No pitcher is going to dominate like this over a full season. It’s just not possible, and the BABIP gods will surely rear their ugly heads at some point because that’s what happens in baseball. But, for now, love what you’re seeing out of the Japanese import on the mound every fifth day.

You also have to commend manager Dave Roberts for not overusing him. In some of the four starts, Roberts could have stretched Maeda out and let him work through a seventh, or even an eighth, inning. However, Roberts has bigger goals in mind, and Maeda is a part of those goals. They’ll have to keep him healthy and fresh, and a healthy and fresh Maeda is dominating right now.

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About The Author

Justin Russo is a 30-year old sports enthusiast who dabbles in all forms of sports talk. Whether that talk revolves around the NBA, NCAA, NFL, NHL, MLB, or other leagues, he has an opinion. He works as a writer for Warriors World, and was formerly a writer and editor for ClipsNation on the SB Nation network. He also is the Editor-in-chief for But The Game Is On: The Beat.

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