Dodgers Team News

Watch: Dodgers’ Yoshinobu Yamamoto Adjusts Mechanics, Adds Velocity

Yoshinobu Yamamoto shut down the Yankees on Friday night as the Dodgers took the series opener 2-1 in extra innings. The 25-year-old rookie threw seven scoreless innings while striking out seven Yankee batters.

When the Dodgers signed Yamamoto from Japan, everyone knew about his command and his split-finger fastball. His four-seam fastball velocity, however, caught everyone’s eye on Friday night.

Before Friday, the Dodgers’ right-hander had thrown just three pitches at 97 mph or higher. He threw 29 such pitches in the Bronx in his shutout performance.

Perhaps the atmosphere and the adrenaline gave him an extra tick on his pitches. Ben Brewster of TreadAthletics believes Yamamoto made a mechanical change to give himself a little more velocity on his pitches.

Brewster demonstrates that Yamamoto has been tilting his glove more during his delivery. In doing so, Brewster says this could increase Yamamoto’s torso rotational velocity, generating more power as he goes towards the plate.

If this is true, Yamamoto could become even more unhittable. Currently, batters have the most success against his fastball with a .250 batting average against and a .406 slugging percentage.

One piece of evidence for those in the “adrenaline camp,” though, is that Dodgers reliever Michael Grove touched 99 mph – something he has never done in his career. So, it will take a few more starts to see whether or not it was mechanical or the playoff atmosphere in New York.

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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Kevin Skinner

Graduated from Creighton University with a degree in Biology and Philosophy. Despite growing up in San Diego, loves all thing Los Angeles sports

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