With spring training less than a week old, Maeda was asked Tuesday how a major league spring training differs from the spring trainings he participated in with his former team in Japan.
“The practice time here is shorter,” he said through an interpreter.
Maeda said that pitchers run more in the early going in Japan and also have more fielding practice. Pitchers’ fielding practice still is to come as the Dodgers move into the later phases of the spring.
Maeda’s English is limited, but he had one word at the ready when asked if he is enjoying these shorter workouts with the Dodgers.
“Yesssss!” he said.
He did have another 40-pitch bullpen session Tuesday as he works on his assimilation process, throwing this time to catcher A.J. Ellis. On Sunday, his first bullpen session in front of manager Dave Roberts, he threw to Yasmani Grandal.
“Both Ellis and Grandal have been really proactive in asking me my preferences,” Maeda said. “I feel like I can have a good relationship with them.”
Not only has Maeda pitched exclusively in Japan, he only played with Hiroshima in his eight seasons in the Japan Central league, so he was asked if this move to a new team, in a new league and in a new country has come with some inherent pressures.
“What I want to do is basically produce good results and that will speak for itself,” Maeda said.