By Jon Weisman
It’s hard not to like what Kenta Maeda has brought to the U.S. so far.
Same with Justin Turner, even if the journey isn’t quite so far.
Despite giving up two runs on three hits before recording his first out, Maeda delivered another rewarding performance, retiring 14 of the final 15 batters he faced in the Dodgers’ 6-3 loss to Seattle.
“The first inning I think I was throwing too hard, and the next time around, I focused on locating in the strike zone,” Maeda said, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.
Maeda has only one strikeout fewer than Clayton Kershaw this month.
“He has high acumen; his pitchability is off the charts,” Dave Roberts said (via Doug Padilla of ESPN.com). “You know what was encouraging was that he shook (off the pitch selection) a couple of times just to get to a certain pitch. You saw him get into the at-bat and saw hitters swing by making the in-at-bat adjustment.”
Turner, meanwhile, continues to make it look easy at the plate since returning from knee surgery, golfing a home run and two doubles to drive in runs in three different innings. He is 9 for 14 with four doubles, a homer and two walks in his first eight days of action.
- It’s another evening in the waiting room for the Dodgers. Results of the bone scan on Andre Ethier’s right shin aren’t due until Tuesday, Ken Gurick of MLB.com tells us, while as Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. reports, Yasmani Grandal will hope two days off benefits his sore forearms, or sorearms.
- Related: Fangraphs rated the Dodgers’ catching No. 2 in the Majors, behind only the Buster Posey-led Giants.
- Joc Pederson singled the opposite way in his first two at-bats today. This spring, Pederson is 12 for 34 with a homer and 15 strikeouts, meaning that his batting average on balls on play is a bizarre .579 (11 for 19). Only four of his 36 plate appearances have ended in an on-field putout.
- Adrian Gonzalez singled in his first at-bat, giving him hits in consecutive games on consecutive days in connected countries. Gonzalez went 2 for 3 with a walk Sunday to help Team Mexico advance to the 2017 World Baseball Classic with a qualifier-clinching victory over Nicaragua.
- Lefty reliever Luis Avilan, who allowed two homers in 15 2/3 innings for the Dodgers last season, allowed back-to-back homers in a four-run sixth today after entering with a 3-2 lead.
- Yasiel Puig went 2 for 3 and stole his first base of March, on a head-first slide.
- Homegrown prospect Cody Bellinger was one of four non-roster players reassigned to minor-league camp, along with infielder Brandon Hicks, catcher Shawn Zarraga and outfielder Corey Brown. It’s one thing for a Major Leaguer to hit well against the mixed competition of a series of exhibition games, but the feathers fly a little higher in the cap of a 20-year-old who hasn’t been above Single-A who goes 10 for 24 with a homer and eight walks against five strikeouts.
- Chris Hatcher pitched on back-to-back days for the first time in 2016, and retired both batters he faced.
- Brewers outfielder Rymer Liriano, who suffered facial fractures after being hit by a Matt West pitch Sunday, was discharged from the hospital today. West talked to J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News about his own man vs. baseball experiences.
- Six days after Gonzalez’s Taco Tuesday, Carl Crawford catered a barbecue feast at Camelback Ranch.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) March 21, 2016