Kenta Maeda homered off Dave Roberts in batting practice, so his manager owes him dinner
Clayton Kershaw took some cuts for himself in a Cactus League game earlier this week, Hector Santiago is chompin' at the bit to jump into the batter's box (even though he's in the American League) and Justin Verlander ... well, he's bunting to lead off innings, but that's neither here, nor there.
The point is: It's almost #PitchersWhoRake season!
We're just a week away from counting Bartolo Colon's hits and gazing in awe as Madison Bumgarner, Zack Greinke, Max Scherzer or some other determined hurler steps to the plate and proves that pitchers can mash, too.
Dodgers newcomer Kenta Maeda seems poised to insert himself into that mix.
Maeda was recently cranking homer after homer during Dodgers batting practice with his Japanese bat. When he caught some flack from his new teammates for using non-regulation lumber, Maeda switched to an American-made stick and manager Dave Roberts promised to buy him dinner if he could put one out with one of his first five swings.
Dave Roberts said he owes Kenta Maeda dinner. Roberts was pitching batting practice and Maeda took him deep with an American bat- Eric Stephen (@truebluela) March 26, 2016
Maeda didn't need the last four tries, because he promptly picked up right where he left off and Roberts planned to make good on his word:
If you think that this is the part when we're supposed to start chanting "IN-N-OUT! IN-N-OUT! IN-N-OUT!," you should slow your roll because Roberts says that the team's got to eat healthy at Spring Training.
And for those of you who might be worried about the other side of Maeda's game, the Japanese pitcher struck out five (including Joey Votto to end a 1-2-3 first inning) over 5 1/3 innings of work against the Reds on Sunday. Maeda's Spring Training ERA is 1.89.