The Dodgers have had a substantial following in Japan since the team signed Hideo Nomo before the 1995 season, and the admiration is continuing with the Dodgers signing both Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto.
Ohtani’s impact has not only been felt by baseball fans around the world, but also by other Japanese athletes who play in the United States, mainly Lakers power forward Rui Hachimura.
Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times shares how Hachimura felt when Ohtani signed with the Dodgers, and how Ohtani has personally impacted him.
“I’m proud of being Japanese as an athlete, came from there, grew up and came here to the U.S. to be in the NBA, the top league in the world,” he told The Times. “It’s different sports, but I’m in one of the biggest organizations in the world. The Lakers. And also him as well. Baseball. Top league. Dodgers one of the biggest organizations. As a Japanese, I’m really proud of him and happy for him. He actually motivated me.”
The Dodgers are continuing to bolster their lineup, signing former Seattle Mariners outfielder Tesocar Hernández to a one-year deal, but they might not be done upgrading their now star-studded rotation.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic evaluates the trade market for Chicago White Sox ace Dylan Cease, noting that the Dodgers are currently in the mix for the right-hander.
“The White Sox are weighing offers for Cease, and the Yankees and Orioles are among those to express “sincere” interest, according to major-league sources briefed on the discussions. Other teams also are serious, however. While the exact list of suitors is not known, the Dodgers, Cardinals and Red Sox are among the teams possibly in the mix.”
The signing of Hernández gives the Dodgers another power bat with 30-home-run potential alongside Ohtani, Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and Max Muncy.
Zach Bachar of Bleacher Report lists the Dodgers’ projected starting lineup for the 2024 season and mentions how this team can reverse their postseason misfortunes.
“With the marquee additions of Ohtani and Yamamoto while acquiring Hernández to bolster Los Angeles’ lineup, manager Dave Roberts should expect postseason success from his team.”