Dodgers Team News

Dodgers’ Dave Roberts Defends Yoshinobu Yamamoto Making Start Despite Pre-Game Tightness

As the camera was focused on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ dugout Saturday night, it caught pitching coach Mark Prior sprinting toward manager Dave Roberts. Both men then vanished into the tunnel leading to the Dodgers’ clubhouse and trainers’ room.

Starting pitch Yoshinobu Yamamoto was pulled after giving up one hit in two scoreless innings of an eventual 7-2 loss to the Kansas City Royals in front of a crowd of 50,423 in Dodger Stadium. The club confirmed an initial diagnosis of triceps tightness.

Yamamoto complained of the tightness earlier in the week, which is why his start was pushed back a couple of days. The rookie said he felt fine until warm-ups, when he felt it come back. He remained in communication with his coaches and trainers but felt the pain come back once the game started.

Manager Dave Roberts defended his decision to start Yamamoto despite the soreness saying, “There was no point in time where we felt he couldn’t make the start.”

“He felt some soreness after his last start, and we pushed him back,” Roberts said. “During a season, pitchers are always going to be sore, but he said he felt good enough to go. We wouldn’t pitch him if we felt he was going to put himself in harm’s way.

“If we had any inkling that all he could muster was two innings, we wouldn’t have pitched him tonight. … He had soreness during the week, which is why we pushed him back, but I didn’t know until the second inning that he couldn’t go back out for the third.”

Yamamoto said after the game that the actual feeling he has is not that bad. The Dodgers placed him on the 15-day injured list Sunday nonetheless. Bobby Miller who is expected to start Wednesday against the Colorado Rockies and take Yamamoto’s place in the rotation.

Photo Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

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Maren Angus

Maren Angus-Coombs was born in Los Angeles and raised in Nashville, Tenn. She is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and has been a sports writer since 2008. Despite being raised in the South, her sports obsession has always been in Los Angeles. She is currently a staff writer for Dodgers Nation and the LA Sports Report Network.


  1. The Dodgers will never accomplish what they’re capable of with Roberts as the manager.
    Time for a change!

  2. How about Roberts letting Yamamoto pitching into 100 plus against the Yankees? What ever happened to we are controlling his pitch count to around 85-90? Have you looked at all the Dodger pitchers who have had arm trouble from overuse. Clayton, Buehler, May, Tony C., and Miller.

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