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Yoshinobu Yamamoto makes waves at spring training

Yamamoto generated plenty of buzz in his first bullpen session

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MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers-Workouts Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Yoshinobu Yamamoto hasn’t been at Camelback Ranch for very long, but he’s already making an even bigger name for himself. Gavin Lux and Tyler Glasnow were impressed with what they saw, and word quickly got around that Yamamoto meant business.

Yamamoto’s distinct fastball and splitter have been particularly interesting to the team. His four-seamer hits the upper 90s and carries plenty of backspin, while his splitter has the ability to completely confound batters. Combine all of that with his signature slide-step delivery and smaller frame, and you’ve got quite the story.

“I think he can just collect himself very efficiently and there’s no wasted movements in his mechanics,” Glasnow said. “With a leg kick or not, I think about the way he distributes his weight and I don’t know if he necessarily needs a leg kick. He just moves so well.”

Yamamoto’s style has drawn comparisons to former phenom Tim Lincecum, who made headlines for the San Francisco Giants and had a similar way of generating momentum with his lower body.

After spending so many years playing in Japan, however, Yamamoto has still had to make adjustments. He’s spent time getting used to the different ball used in MLB games and will start slightly more often—every five days, according to manager Dave Roberts—than what he’s used to.

“We’re viewing this year as one to get him acclimated and figure it out,” said president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. “We don’t know exactly what that means yet. But we’re going to be partners with him in figuring it out.”

Alden Gonzalez at ESPN has more insights into Yamamoto’s start with the Dodgers.

Dodgers Links

The Dodgers are going into spring training with a stellar lineup, but that still hasn’t earned them the top spot in MLB power rankings, writes Matt Snyder at CBS Sports. Just about every one of their stars—especially the pitching rotation—comes with a question mark.

Jack Harris at the Los Angeles Times takes a deep dive into some of those question marks, detailing how Glasnow, Walker Buehler, and James Paxton — among others — can make or break the season.

Despite their billion-dollar signings, Gabe Lacques at USA Today lists the Dodgers as one of the losers of the offseason, mostly because living up to this hype is going to be the tallest of orders.