Right-hander Kenta Maeda will be making his debut start for the Los Angeles Dodgers today. In doing so, he will be the latest in a long line of Far East pitchers to make their mark on Major League Baseball. Will it go well, or will he be unable to keep up the great pitching from the starting rotation?
No matter the result of today, it won’t paint a picture of what is to come for the rest of the season so it might be best to temper expectations just a little bit. Maeda still has to get comfortable to pitching in the United States, and he is facing hitters that have never seen him before. It’s a complicated formula.
Maeda said he’s more excited for this start than a typical first start in Japan. He said the Dodgers analytic department has provided more data on opposing hitters than he would have normally received before a game in Japan, but he is “comfortable” with it.
As you can see, the Dodgers have gone out of their way to prepare Maeda for success as quickly as possible by giving him a ton of information on the hitters he’ll be facing. There is such a thing as too much information, so it will be quite intriguing to see how Maeda processes all of this data and uses it during the game.
The Dodgers are going for the season sweep today against the Padres, so Maeda’s start is pretty darn important. The team has yet to give up a single run to San Diego in the first two games of the season, and keeping a scoreless streak like that intact could be something quite special for both Maeda and the team.