Dodgers Team News

Dodgers’ Yoshinobu Yamamoto Says He’s Still Getting Used to Life in MLB

It’s been about four months since Yoshinobu Yamamoto signed his gigantic 12-year, $325 million contract that brought him to MLB and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Prior, Yamamoto had spent his entire professional baseball career in Nippon Professional Baseball, the highest level of baseball in Japan.

Yamamoto is still getting adjusted to MLB after making the transition last winter. There are several key differences between MLB and NPB, including the PitchCom and pitch clock, which Yamamoto is getting accustomed to.

“I think I’m being able to keep myself very calm. That’s one of the biggest reasons I’m being able to execute,” Yamamoto said through his interpreter, via SportsNet LA. “There are some differences between here and Japan, such as the PitchCom, pitch clock. I think I’m being able to get myself used to it. And I’m feeling more comfortable. … I think I’m just getting used to the environment since I came here.”

Even as he’s still getting used to MLB, he’s seriously impressed his teammates. After recording a shutout game in the Dodgers’ 8-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks Wednesday, Yamamoto won over the praise of catcher Austin Barnes.

“I thought he pitched really well,” Barnes said. “I thought with a six-run lead he attacked hitters. I thought he was pretty efficient early on, taking his outs, not trying to chase punch (strikeouts). I think after every start he probably gets more confidence. He’s only 25 years old and it’s a new league for him. He’s been throwing the ball really well so it’s hard to say he doesn’t have his feet under him. He was great today.”

Austin Barnes via The OC Register

Yamamoto might not be quite used to MLB life, but he’s doing a fantastic job nonetheless. This was Yamamoto’s second game without allowing a run, and his fourth overall on the season. He is currently 3-1 on the season with a 2.91 ERA and 42 strikeouts. Since his disastrous first start against the San Diego Padres, Yamamoto holds a fantastic 1.64 ERA.

Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

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Eva Geitheim

Eva graduated from UCLA in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in Communication. She has been covering college and professional sports since 2022.

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