Dodgers News: Andrew Friedman Not Concerned With Kenta Maeda, Chris Taylor And...

Dodgers News: Andrew Friedman Not Concerned With Kenta Maeda, Chris Taylor And Kiké Hernandez Playing In 2018 MLB Japan All-Star Series

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Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 MLB All-Star Tour of Japan begins this week, and the Los Angeles Dodgers will be well-represented as Kenta Maeda, Chirs Taylor and Kiké Hernandez were each named to the MLB roster.

This will not be the first time that Maeda has played in the games as he got his first taste of playing against Major Leaguers in the 2014 MLB All-Star Japan Series while playing with the Japanese national team.

Maeda was a five-time All-Star in eight seasons with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of Nippon Professional Baseball, winning the Eiji Sawamura Award, which is the Japanese equivalent of a Cy Young award, on two separate occasions.

While he is not there for the start of the games this year, he will be returning to his home country at some point to pitch against them.

One person who will be watching is Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman as he is excited for not only Maeda, but also Taylor and Hernandez, to get to experience this unique opportunity.

“Kenta has some things to do, so he’s not going over immediately. With Kiké and C.T., I’m looking forward to them getting this opportunity to go over there and experience the culture and passion that the fans have,” Friedman said.

The 2018 MLB All-Star Japan Series will consist of seven games, held from Nov. 8-15 in Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagoya. Maeda has stated his preference would be to pitch in Hiroshima, the ballpark that he called home for eight years with the Carp.

Japanese pitchers returning to their home country to represent MLB is not something that is new, with former Seattle Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma and former Chicago Cubs pitchers Tsuyoshi Wada doing so in 2014.

Considering the Dodgers played late into October again in 2018 after making it to the World Series, it will be interesting to see what kind of workload Friedman allows Maeda to have in Japan.

Beginning on Thursday, all of the games will be televised on MLB Network.