Dodgers News: Yoshi Tsutsugo Trying To Find ‘Good Stuff’ From Swing In Japan

The Los Angeles Dodgers made several moves last week with an eye on improving their bench and adding depth to the organization. Among them included the signing of future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols, who made his team debut in Monday’s series opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Dodgers also acquired Yoshi Tsutsugo from the Tampa Bay Rays, who was designated for assignment after hitting just .167/.244/.218 in 26 games this season. He went 0-for-2 with a pair of walks in his team debut, then hit an RBI single on Wednesday night.

Tsutsugo has struggled offensively since coming over from Japan a year ago but is confident Dodgers hitting coaches can help him recapture his swing.

“Watching a lot of video footage of my old days,” Tsutsugo said of how he’s trying to return to his previous level. “I’m trying to regain my swing I had in Japan. … I want to get the good stuff that I had and just include it in my swing right now.”

Most of Tsutsugo’s struggles in MLB stem from not being able to catch up to high-velocity pitches. “It’s more like finding my timing and getting back the swing I used to have,” Tsutsugo explained. “Communicating with the hitting coaches, that’s what we came up with.”

The 29-year-old added his offensive woes additionally are due to changing leagues and having to face new pitchers.

“I had good work with the Rays but changing environments to the states, I felt like I had to go back to my Japanese swing just to adjust to American pitchers,” Tsutsugo said.

Roberts cites mechanical changes for Tsutsugo’s struggles against velocity

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts believes Tsutsugo can improve against high-velocity pitches by tweaking his mechanics and having a clear line of communication with the team’s hitting coaches.

“I think there’s a little bit more going into that,” Roberts said of Tsutsugo’s struggles against fastballs. “I think on the surface to look at struggles with velocity, a lot of it has come with mechanical changes.

“There’s a lot going into it as far as the communication part of it and his swing being different than what it used to be. So I think for us is to get him back to where he was as a comfortable, productive, professional hitter. And we’ll go from there.

“Right now we’re just going to kind of start with a new baseline and see where it goes.”

Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, participate in our shows and giveaways, and more!