Dodgers: Five Early Season Overreactions

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April 14, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22), pitching coach Rick Honeycutt (40) and manager Dave Roberts (30) celebrate the 7-1 victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
April 14, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22), pitching coach Rick Honeycutt (40) and manager Dave Roberts (30) celebrate the 7-1 victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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Apr 9, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda (18) in the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

Kenta Maeda Should be Sent Down to Triple-A

After an impressive rookie season, Maeda has struggled out of the gate in the 2017 season. In 3 starts this season, Maeda has a 7.07 ERA with an absurdly high 1.93 Home Run per 9 innings ratio. Maeda has failed to pitch more than five innings in all 3 of his starts and has yet to find his 2016 form.

This early performance is surprising from Maeda as he led the Dodgers in starts last season and was fairly consistent in providing quality innings for the Dodgers. Maeda struggled at the tail end of the 2016 season, only pitching 10 ⅔ innings in 3 starts in the postseason.

The Dodgers challenged Maeda to work on his conditioning over the summer, and he came back this spring looking stronger than ever. What was eye-opening about Maeda’s performance last season was how his numbers continued to get worse as he pitched through the 2nd and 3rd time through the order.

Per Fangraphs, Maeda allowed a .333 batting average and 4 home runs to hitters the third time through the order. Those splits seem to have carried over to 2017 as Maeda’s era balloons to 10.80 with a .429 average during his third time through a lineup.

Although the splits aren’t pretty early in the season, Maeda is a veteran pitcher. At 29-years-old in his second season in the MLB, Maeda may not seem like a veteran, but his experience in Japan accounts for something.

It looks like the league has made adjustments toward facing Maeda. It’s not the time for Maeda to make adjustments against hitters.

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