Rangers Manager Bruce Bochy Impressed By Yoshinobu Yamamoto In First Dodgers Start

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

Yoshinobu Yamamoto made his highly-anticipated Los Angeles Dodgers Spring Training debut on Wednesday in their Cactus League matchup against the Texas Rangers.

The highest paid starting pitcher in MLB history flashed much of why he was coveted in the offseason, displaying true swing-and-miss stuff over two scoreless innings. Yamamoto threw 19 pitches in his two frames of work, collecting three strikeouts and allowing just one hit while facing the minimum.

Yamamoto dazzled with his command, landing 16 of his 19 pitches for strikes. His performance was noted by Dodgers staff, but also earned praise from Rangers manager Bruce Bochy, per Juan Toribio of MLB.com:

“Good stuff, I mean, that’s obvious,” said Rangers manager Bruce Bochy. “That’s why they signed him. But this is the first time these guys had a look at him, and I think they all were impressed with the kind of stuff he has.”

Yamamoto signed a 12-year, $325 million contract in December, signifying the Dodgers’ belief in his talent.

The right-hander showcased his elite pitch arsenal, featuring a mid-90s fastball, devastating splitter and rainbow curveball. Yamamoto’s ability to stay in the strike zone made it tough for Rangers hitters to barrel up much of anything.

The three-time Eiji Sawamura Award winner made a stamp in his first taste of big league action against the 2023 World Series champions, and started his day with a strikeout of Marcus Semien.

Dodgers emphasizing communication with Yoshinobu Yamamoto

The Dodgers plan to have an understandable sense of caution with Yamamoto as he prepares for his first Major League season.

Manager Dave Roberts mentioned that while Yamamoto prepares for the 2023 season, the team wants him to feel as comfortable as he can in his new environment. With that, Roberts said the Dodgers have placed a priority on the communication with Yamamoto.

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