When Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Kenta Maeda took the mound on Friday against the Arizona Diamondbacks for just his second start of the season, and first in the month of April.
The 12-day period in between starts was attributed to Maeda being sent to the bullpen last week due to a variety of factors, including inclement weather postponing the opener of a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants.
The rust showed, as Maeda logged just 2.2 innings in the contest, yielding five hits, two walks and two earned runs. One of those runs was manufactured by Diamondbacks starter Zack Greinke drawing a walk and later scoring on a wild pitch.
After the loss, Maeda admitted that he will prepare differently in the event he has another layoff between starts, via J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group:
“Yeah,” Maeda said through his interpreter. “I think that’s something I need to work on, change a little bit, especially considering for a starting pitcher it’s a difficult thing to do.”
Prior to Friday’s outing, Maeda has appeared in just one other April game out of the bullpen. He tossed a scoreless inning against the Giants last week — his first appearance since March 31, when he made his only other start of the season.
The lack of starts in the early going may ultimately cost Maeda the opportunity to trigger certain incentives in his contract.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has revealed that he won’t manage Maeda based on his contract, in which the 30-year-old agreed that the incentives shouldn’t dictate how he’s utilized.