Dodgers Injuries: Yoshinobu Yamamoto Removed Early From Start Against Royals

The Los Angeles Dodgers pushed Yoshinobu Yamamoto back two days to start Saturday’s game in order to provide him with extra rest after throwing a season-high 106 pitches, but his outing wound up lasting just two innings.

The Dodgers announced Yamamoto’s early exit was due to right triceps tightness.

Michael Grove entered after Yamamoto threw 28 pitches over two scoreless innings. He wasn’t particularly sharp as only 14 pitches landed for strike.

Moreover, Yamamoto’s fastball velocity was down an average of 1.4 mph. He did top out at 95.9 mph in the start against the Royals, which was a slight increase on his season average of 95.5 mph.

Yamamoto did not show any overt signs of injury but his final pitch was 92.9 mph, the slowest of the night.

The SportsNet LA broadcast showed Dodgers pitching coach Mark Prior quickly emerging in the dugout to speak with manager Dave Roberts and trainer Yosuke “Possum” Nakajima. Roberts appeared to shout an expletive once Prior caught his attention.

Prior to the game, Roberts stated Yamamoto “feels good physically.”

“It’ll just be interesting to see, which I was curious also with Gavin Stone [Friday] night, coming off a big series against the Yankees, and how he responds here,” Roberts added.

What Yoshinobu Yamamoto injury means for Dodgers

Considering how the Dodgers have handled Yamamoto in his first season — ensuring he has at least five days of rest between every start — it’s likely they will proceed with extreme caution.

That could lead to a stint on the 15-day injured list that may coincide with Bobby Miller being on track to return Wednesday. The Dodgers were planning to tentatively utilize a six-man starting rotation once Miller was activated, but the more likely scenario now is he takes Yamamoto’s spot.

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