Padres @ Dodgers March 21, 2024: Yoshinobu Yamamoto makes his MLB debut, Shohei Ohtani in lineup

Via @Dodgers

Last night the Dodgers started their season with a 5-2 victory over the Padres in the first of two games in Seoul. They trailed 2-1 entering the eighth inning, but plated four runs in the frame behind two walks, a few singles, and a broken glove. Mookie Betts and Shohei Ohtani each had two hits and a run batted in at the top of the order, while Freddie Freeman, James Outman, and Max Muncy all walked twice. Betts and Gavin Lux both looked good in the infield, so all is well one game into the 2024 season. Today, Yoshinobu Yamamoto will be making his MLB debut against the right-handed Joe Musgrove.

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3:05 A.M. Seoul
2B Bogaerts SS Betts
RF Tatis Jr. DH Ohtani (L)
1B Cronenworth (L) 1B Freeman (L)
DH Machado C Smith
SS Kim 3B Muncy (L)
LF Profar (L) LF Hernández, T.
C Campusano CF Outman (L)
3B Wade (L) RF Heyward (L)
CF Merrill (L) 2B Lux (L)
P Musgrove (R) P Yamamoto (R)

Here’s how these two teams performed last season.

Each team made significant moves this offseason in different capacities. For the Padres, Gary Sanchez signed with the Brewers after putting up a 115 wRC+ and 1.8 fWAR with 19 homers in just 72 games for the Padres last year. They traded their best hitter in Juan Soto (155 wRC+, .930 OPS) to the Yankees and included Trent Grisham in that move, so they’ll replace those two with Jurickson Profar and top 30 overall prospect Jackson Merrill in center field. They’re still likely to have a strong offense but losing a bat as dominant as Soto hurts.

The Dodgers lost J.D. Martinez as he was replaced by Ohtani, Teoscar Hernandez was added in free agency to add some power in the middle of the order, and Lux is back in the fold after missing 2023. This offense should compete with the Atlanta Braves for the best in baseball. 


Here’s how Musgrove and Yamamoto matchup.

In regards to Yamamoto, here are a couple pieces from Brim and Chad earlier in the offseason. Plus, earlier today, Kiley McDaniel of ESPN analyzed Yamamoto’s Cactus League performance, which is more useful than looking at his 8.38 ERA. He’s excellent. There will likely be ups and downs as he’s acclimating to the league, but this is an experienced, extremely decorated pitcher and he’ll look to hit the ground running. Similar to Tyler Glasnow, Yamamoto will likely be looking at five innings or around eighty pitches.

Musgrove had a late start to his 2023 season recovering from a broken toe he suffered in March, and had an early finish to his year with right shoulder inflammation ending his season at the end of July. Due to this he made just 17 starts and logged just 97.1 innings, but was as solid as ever in those starts. His two prior seasons featured similar results as his 2023 year, with a 3.18 ERA and 3.70 FIP in 2021, and a 2.93 ERA and 3.59 FIP in 2022. He was hit around in Spring Training, with nine earned runs allowed in six innings on seven hits and four walks. I don’t put much weight into something like that, but as he’s thrown just six innings in the Cactus League I’m unsure if he’s built up to go more than 60-70 pitches.


This is huge news and I’ll refrain from commenting on it much, but there are multiple articles out there on the current situation with Ohtani, the two major ones being the Los Angeles Times and ESPN.

Obviously tons of speculation going around, and you can find that anywhere you like, but we’re obviously going to hear more about this later anyway, so no harm in just waiting to see how things shake out.

Couldn’t have a normal season for even 24 hours.


First pitch is at 3:05 AM PT on SNLA and ESPN.

About Allan Yamashige

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Just a guy living in Southern California, having a good time writing about baseball. Hated baseball practice as a kid, but writing about it rules. Thanks for reading!