LOS ANGELES -- Three days after he was drilled in the right leg by a comebacker, Los Angeles Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda took part in regular pregame activities and will start Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers, keeping his regular turn in the rotation.
Maeda was struck below the right knee on a comebacker from the Arizona Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt and went to the ground after retrieving the ball and throwing it to first base for the out. He left the game barely able to put weight on the injured leg.
X-rays during the game were negative and the Dodgers reported that much of the discomfort Maeda was feeling had to do with a nerve getting compressed when the ball made contact with his leg at 95 mph. The ball hit mostly flesh and muscle, not bone.
“He’s fine,” manager Dave Roberts said in announcing that Maeda will indeed pitch Sunday.
It is the second time Maeda has been hit by a comebacker in a span of 2½ weeks and he did not miss a start either time, although the first time it happened he was given an extra day before taking the mound again. On May 28 at New York, Maeda was hit by a comebacker on the back of his right (pitching) hand. He not only stayed in that game, he continued to pitch effectively.
Maeda is 6-4 after 13 starts of his rookie season in the major leagues. His 2.75 ERA was 11th among all qualified National League players at the start of play Friday. Over his last four starts (the period that encompasses the two times he was hit by comebackers), he is 3-1 with a 1.54 ERA in 23 1/3 innings.