Dave Roberts: Communication ‘Most Important Thing’ For Yoshinobu Yamamoto & Dodgers

Yoshinobu Yamamoto is set to make his highly anticipated Cactus League debut on Wednesday in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ matchup against the Texas Rangers at Surprise Stadium.

The right-hander signed a record-setting 12-year, $325 million contract with the Dodgers during the offseason after ending his career in Japan by winning a third consecutive Eiji Sawamura Award and Pacific League MVP as the ace of the Orix Buffaloes.

Yamamoto has impressed in Dodgers camp so far but is still adjusting to some of the changes that come with making the jump to Major League Baseball. Among them are a new pitching schedule and slightly different baseballs that he will have to get used to.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said communicating effectively will be key to success for Yamamoto, via Doug Padilla of the Southern California News Group:

“I think the most important thing for Yoshinobu is just communicating,” said Roberts, who watched over Monday’s bullpen session. “We want him to be comfortable and thrive and so as he communicates to us, what he’s comfortable (with), what he’s used to doing that’s helpful for our staff and myself. That’s just the most important thing and he’s been great at communicating what he likes to do.”

The Dodgers are understandably exercising caution with Yamamoto as he prepares for his first Major League season. The 25-year-old has not been limited in any way thus far and will continue building up at a pace he feels comfortable.

Yamamoto is expected to throw two innings in his Cactus League debut, which indicates he may be ahead of schedule when compared to other pitchers.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto outlook

After his start against the Rangers, Yamamoto could theoretically make two more Cactus League appearances before taking the ball during the Seoul Series.

Roberts has softly committed to starting Yamamoto and Tyler Glasnow in some order when the Dodgers face the San Diego Padres in South Korea next month.

Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!