Dodgers News: Andrew Friedman Believes In Yoshinobu Yamamoto

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Soon after signing Shohei Ohtani to a 10-year, $700 million contract, the Los Angeles Dodgers pulled off another major addition in free agency by Yoshinobu Yamamoto to a record-setting deal as well.

The $325 million contract Yamamoto signed with the Dodgers represented the richest deal for a pitcher in MLB history. It came with both fanfare and skepticism, as some have wondered how the 25-year-old will fare in making the transition from Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB).

Yamamoto dazzled in his Dodgers Spring Training debut but faced some difficulties, if not outright struggled, in three ensuing starts. One of those being his MLB debut in the Seoul Series.

While there figures to be a learning curve and adjustment period, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman recently heaped plenty of praise on Yamamoto, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:

“He’s got a really good foundation as a jumping off point,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. “He’s incredibly talented. The arm talent is very unique. His ability to command the baseball is very unique.”

Yamamoto’s command is what gives him a chance to be an elite pitcher and potential ace for the Dodgers. He’s demonstrated an ability to throw offspeed stuff for strikes and also when expand the zone by using pith deception to get swings and misses on those balls out of the zone.

Some of Yamamoto’s command has betrayed him of late, particularly when pitching out of the stretch. Yamamoto vowed to make corrections and improve after allowing five runs and completing just one inning in his Dodgers debut.

Is Yoshinobu Yamamoto possibly tipping pitches

There was some discourse surrounding Yamamoto potentially tipping pitches during his first Cactus League start, but the Dodgers largely downplayed the concern.

Pitching coach Mark Prior noted that is an area the organization is always mindful of with their entire staff and indicated the team takes into account several factors with that possibility.

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