4 positive signs for Dodgers fans from Opening Weekend

St. Louis Cardinals v Los Angeles Dodgers
St. Louis Cardinals v Los Angeles Dodgers / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

Despite some ugly weather in LA this weekend, the Dodgers followed up a split against the Padres in Seoul by taking three of four at Dodger Stadium. The weekend included strong performances from the offense and encouraging signs from both newcomers and returning players. As the Dodgers prepare to take on their rival San Francisco Giants this week, here are four positives Dodgers fans can take away from this weekend:

Yamamoto Bounces Back from Rough Debut

After a disastrous debut outing in South Korea, Yoshinobu Yamamoto bounced back in a big way with a scoreless five innings against the Cardinals on Saturday night. The Dodgers' second biggest addition struggled in his first game, as he barely got through one inning, allowing five runs on 43 pitches and taking the loss against the Padres.

On Saturday night, Yamamoto proved early doubters wrong as his high-velocity fastball looked much better. He used his splitter and curveball to change speeds on hitters and get swings and misses. This improved performance could be a sign that his debut was just an aberration, and he will become worth the lengthy contract he signed this winter.

Teoscar Shows Signs of a Dangerous Bottom of the Lineup Bat

Former Blue Jays and Mariners outfielder Teoscar Hernández tallied five hits this weekend, including three home runs and six RBI. A proven run-producer in the past, Hernandez showed signs of being a fearful bat that can be relied upon to drive in the stars of the order and come up with big hits.

Hernández finished third in RBI with the Blue Jays in 2021 while making his first All-Star appearance and claiming his second Silver Slugger Award in as many years. Along with players like James Outman, Jason Heyward, and Gavin Lux, Hernández will be crucial to the Dodgers’ order's efforts not to be top-heavy.

Bobby Miller's Impressive Sophomore Season Debut

The hard-throwing 24-year-old Bobby Miller couldn’t have imagined a better start to his second season in the majors with a superb start on Friday. Miller pitched a scoreless six innings, which saw him reach a career-high in strikeouts of 11 while surrendering only two hits and one walk.

The righty showed an effective changeup that he used more than his curveball and slider, unlike last season where he relied more on his breaking stuff. With injuries to many of the starters on the roster, such as Clayton Kershaw and Dustin May, Miller having a strong sophomore season will be a significant boost to the uncertainty surrounding the Dodgers pitching situation.

Top of the Order Performs as Advertised

This weekend, the top four hitters of the order -- including Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani, Freddie Freeman, and Will Smith -- performed as expected in this highly anticipated season. Betts had an impressive four games as he continued his power surge from last season, blasting three homers in the first three games against the Cardinals and batting .500 in his first six games overall.

Freeman and Smith finished the weekend with five hits each, as it seemed like the Dodgers had runners on base every time the top of the order came up. Though Ohtani did not come up clutch in Saturday’s extra-innings loss, he was able to reach base six times and had two XBH. The top four hitters for LA showed that they are going to be the force in the National League that we all expected.

Dave Roberts’ club did not disappoint in their first series at home, as we saw some encouraging signs from players who are expected to be a crucial part of the Dodgers championship aspirations. If this is a glimpse of what is to come, Dodgers fans are going to have fun watching this team and Dodger Stadium should be lively all summer.