With less than a week until pitchers and catchers report to Camelback Ranch, the Los Angeles Dodgers will soon begin another grueling quest in ending what’s now a 30-year World Series drought.
The club returns the majority of its core from a team that accumulated a Major League-best 104 victories during the regular season while reaching the Fall Classic for the first time since 1988.
The Dodgers remain flush with excellent starting pitching options and figure to once again boast one of the league’s better starting rotations in 2018, headlined by star talent and rounded out by valuable depth.
One key contributor, Kenta Maeda, got a jump start on his teammates and shared an Instagram video of himself throwing his first bullpen session of the year at Dodger Stadium:
Maeda is expected to return to the rotation after thriving out of the bullpen during the postseason. He struggled with the home run ball as a starter, and consequently posted a 4.35 ERA over 126.1 innings during the regular season.
But across three playoff series, Maeda emerged as a secret weapon of sorts, allowing just one run and seven baserunners with 10 strikeouts over 10.2 innings.
While speaking to reporters at Dodgers FanFest, general manager Farhan Zaidi deemed Maeda “very underrated,” citing the right-hander’s success in either role asked of him since entering the league in 2016.