Dodgers News: Kenta Maeda Impresses A.J. Ellis
Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Kenta Maeda has been a beacon of hope for the team throughout the spring while some of the other pitchers are going through some injury issues or velocity problems. That hope has been manifested in the sense that he has been quite good on the mound.
There’s no telling how good Maeda can be, but he did just come off of an outing where he threw 3.2 innings and gave up two unearned runs. He wasn’t exactly overpowering, but you could see the makeup he has and his ability to get outs when he needs to get them. That’s a skill that isn’t lost on some.
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From Ken Gurnick of MLB dot com:
Maeda’s velocity was in the low 90s, and Ellis said the pitcher should gain confidence by the way White Sox batters reacted to his pitches.
“That’s their Opening Day lineup,” said [catcher A.J.] Ellis. “The trick for him will be when he faces opponents multiple times.”
Catcher A.J. Ellis definitely walked away impressed with Maeda’s performance. So far in his three starts, the talented Japanese import has logged 8.2 innings and given up just two unearned runs. He’s given up seven hits and walked four batters, but he has fanned eight. He has the stuff to succeed.
The good news is that Maeda’s velocity seems useable. He’s sitting in the low 90’s right now, and that’s an area where locating pitches properly can make a pitcher effective. So far, that’s exactly what Kenta Maeda has been, and the hope within the Dodgers organization is that he keeps that up.
Due to the other pitchers, minus Clayton Kershaw of course, dealing with some sort of setback, having Maeda on track and performing well is going to be something that’s supremely necessary to the success of the team this season. Without him, they could falter. That’s how important Maeda is now. And he gives them hope.
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