In the end, is the Dodgers the winner?
Kenta Maeda 메이저놀이터(35) chose the steel plate himself. On the 27th (hereinafter Korean time), he started in the 2023 Major League home game against the New York Yankees held at Target Field, Minneapolis, USA, and gave up 10 runs with 11 hits, 2 strikeouts, and 2 walks in 3 innings.
Maeda gave up 1 run in 2 innings against the Boston Red Sox on the 21st and was knocked out. He fell to the mound in the second inning when he was struck in the left ankle by a batted ball by second baseman Jaron Duran. However, it was revealed that it was not a big injury as he was caught laughing and talking with his teammates after the game. Still, Duran’s exit velocity was 111.6 mph.
Was it the seed of unhappiness? On the 27th, I played normally against the Yankees, but I had to beat it abnormally again. He went down in the 4th inning safely and was unable to deal with second baseman DJ LeMay Hughes. According to MLB.com, Maeda raised his hands and sent a signal to the bench that he could not throw.
The pitching on this day was not very good. He gave up 5 runs in the 2nd inning and was battered in the 4th inning without catching a single out count. He also had an error in throwing. The 10 runs are Maeda’s most earned runs in a major league game. When Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run double, his fastball only got 88-89 mph.
I felt pain in my elbow. MLB.com said, “It was grated due to muscle discomfort and pain in the right arm. He couldn’t play anymore because he had an MRI scan.” Coach Rocco Baldelli said: “The positive part is that the inside of my arm doesn’t hurt. It’s usually not something to worry about too much. He needs a break anyway.”
Maeda is in the final season of his eight-year, up to $25 million (about 33.5 billion won) contract. I’m a free agent after this season, but it’s not good to have an injury issue. Moreover, Maeda missed the entire 2022 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery after the New York Yankees game on August 22, 2021. He’s back healthy this year, but it’s no good having his arm in trouble again.
With this in mind, it seems possible to conclude that the $2,500 contract the Dodgers gave Maeda was successful in the end. The American press interprets that the reason the Dodgers lowered guarantees and bet many options on Maeda was because they were not sure about his health.
The Dodgers only continued their relationship with Maeda until 2019, and traded him to Minnesota in 2020. In the end, Maeda underwent Tommy John surgery after transferring to Minnesota, and this time, he showed abnormal signs again. As coach Baldelli said, it may not be a major injury, but it is difficult to guarantee the timing of his return. Considering that his age is not small, Maeda’s durability issue is expected to become more prominent in the future.