Did the Dodgers ignore warning signs with Yoshinobu Yamamoto injury?

Miscommunication and a lack of caution seemed to surround Yamamoto before he was placed on the IL.
Kansas City Royals v Los Angeles Dodgers
Kansas City Royals v Los Angeles Dodgers / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

Yoshinobu Yamamoto getting taken out of his Saturday start after just two innings was only the first incident in a cascade of bad news for the Los Angeles Dodgers that weekend, but it was a big one. He got out of the first inning after allowing just one man on base via a walk, then got through the second with just a single given up to the Royals' MJ Melendez.

Between innings, pitching coach Mark Prior was caught by SportsNet LA's cameras coming out of the tunnel to speak to Dave Roberts, who threw his hands down on the railing in frustration. It was clear something was very wrong.

Michael Grove was warming in the pen, so it was clear that Yamamoto's day was over. The Dodgers identified the issue first as triceps tightness, which was later re-diagnosed as a strained rotator cuff. He was promptly placed on the 15-day IL, though his return might actually take weeks.

After the game, Yamamoto said that he had felt some discomfort during pregame warmups, but he pushed through them. When he actually got onto the mound, he realized the problem wasn't going away.

It was also reported that Yamamoto had conversations with Prior before the game when he acknowledged not feeling completely okay. Roberts insisted that he hadn't and would never knowingly put a player "in harm's way," but did the Dodgers ignore the warning signs?

Dodgers may have missed signs Yoshinobu Yamamoto wasn't at his best before rotator cuff injury

Roberts clarified that there may have been some confusion; he wasn't present during Prior's conversation with Yamamoto, which Yamamoto told reporters about during his postgame interview and immediately sent up red flags about the team's decision to keep him as their starter that day. Roberts' perspective was that Yamamoto said he wasn't feeling 100%, but felt fine enough to start.

It seems like the Dodgers were playing a game of telephone and some wires got crossed, but it's certainly not a great look for the team. They're in an okay place with the rotation, with Bobby Miller's return and Clayton Kershaw starting a rehab assignment on Wednesday which will bring the starter count back up to six, but Yamamoto was really starting to hit a stride after his seven scoreless innings against the Yankees on June 7.

The Dodgers have yet to announce a specific timeline to Yamamoto's return, but it feels likely we won't see him again until late July or early August.