Yoshinobu Yamamoto's MLB debut was perfect coping mechanism for Yankees fans

2024 Seoul Series - San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers
2024 Seoul Series - San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers / Masterpress/GettyImages

Down on Gerrit Cole's injury? Aaron Judge's injury? DJ LeMahieu's injury? Oswald Peraza's injury? Well, at least the New York Yankees' season hasn't started yet! They still have time to regroup and get on track.

The same can't be said for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who just kicked off the 2024 MLB campaign in Seoul, South Korea, in a two-game series against the San Diego Padres. LA took home a win in the first game, but what happened on Thursday was ... concerning.

After Wednesday's game, the Dodgers fired Shohei Ohtani's interpreter in wake of theft allegations, which very obviously dominated the news cycle and played a role in dampening the beginning of the two-way star's tenure with his new team.

Hours later, Los Angeles' other premier Japanese signing from the offseason, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, was absolutely shelled by the Padres' offense. In his MLB debut, the right-hander lasted just one inning.

Yamamoto allowed five earned runs on four hits and a walk. He only recorded 23 strikes of his 43 pitches thrown. This came after a spring in which he logged an 8.38 ERA and 1.97 WHIP across 9.2 innings of work.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto's MLB debut was perfect coping mechanism for Yankees fans

Remember the concern about his pitching mechanics? Remember the concern about his potential pitch tipping? That happened this spring, too, which gave Yankees fans more of a reason not to be angry about the front office opting out of bidding ~$350 million or more to ensure he came to New York.

There was always something icky about paying Yamamoto "Gerrit Cole money," and now the Japanese star will be digging himself out of a hole to begin his MLB career -- exactly where you don't want to be.

Not only that, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts pretty much deviated from the entire plan the team initially had for Yamamoto prior to the game.

Yamamoto is a command pitcher. It's who he is as a player. And he was a master at calling his own games in NPB, but the early returns in the States have been much different. So, after the Dodgers made all these accommodations for the 25-year-old, including hiring his personal trainer, Roberts saying the team's pitching coaches will "develop a new plan" for his approach seems rather alarming. Up until this point, Yamamoto was going by his own script.

After just one official game and 9.2 spring innings, that is no more. It's outlandish to even consider Yamamoto being a bust right now, but this is not how you want things to transpire for your new $325 million investment.