Dodgers Spring Training: Yoshinobu Yamamoto Not Starting Cactus League Opener

The 2024 Los Angeles Dodgers Spring Training schedule begins Thursday with a matchup against the San Diego Padres at Peoria Sports Complex, but who their starting pitcher will be remains unclear.

What is known, however, is that Yoshinobu Yamamoto is not yet scheduled for his Dodgers debut.

“It’s not going to be Yamamoto, I know that. We’ll see,” Roberts said. “I’m not sure (who will start). I do have an idea.”

Yamamoto will not be alone as fellow high-profile free agent signing Shohei Ohtani had already been ruled out from being in the Dodgers lineup for their Cactus League opener as well.

With Ohtani, it may be a case of the Dodgers placing a higher priority on his availability for Opening Day in Seoul against the Padres, and so less of an emphasis is being placed on Cactus League play.

Ohtani is expected to start in some Dodgers Spring Training games, but it’s plausible the bulk of his at-bats could come in simulated situations on the backfields at Camelback Ranch.

Meanwhile, Yamamoto figures to slot into the Dodgers’ spring rotation at some point. Although he is going to be one of their top starters for the regular season, the Dodgers historically have not treated their first Spring Training game of the year with any added significance.

Yamamoto’s first Dodgers start in the regular season is expected to come in the Seoul Series, but the team has not made an official announcement.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto wants to improve after live BP

Signed to the richest contract for a pitcher in MLB history, Yamamoto’s first opportunity to face batters was nothing short of impressive.

Freddie Freeman, Max Muncy and Jason Heyward were extremely complimentary of Yamamoto, who pitched in front of a large crowd of fans and team personnel that included Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and vice president of baseball operations and assistant general manager Jeff Kingston, among others.

While it was a dominant first step, Yamamoto remarked it wasn’t his best performance and he remained focused on continuing to improve.

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