There was a right-handed reliever who pitched very well in a setup role for the Dodgers during their postseason run.

Kenta Maeda remembers him.

“Of course,” Maeda said through his translator, laughing. “He was pretty good.”

A starter throughout his professional career in Japan and with the Dodgers, Maeda was more than “pretty good” in that relief role last October. He was a revelation.

Spotted against right-handed batters, he did not give up a hit in five appearances in the National League Division Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks and the NL Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs and struck out seven of the 15 batters he faced. He remained unmarked in the World Series until surrendering a costly three-run home run to Jose Altuve in the riotous Game 5.

Now the Dodgers hope Maeda the reliever is just as much of a revelation to Maeda the starter.

“Absolutely. We talked to Kenta and he did a little self-reflection or evaluation this past winter,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He saw the benefits of being on the attack from the first pitch and felt that it can translate into that starter role.

“What he’s known in baseball is trying to go deeper into games as far as number of pitches as opposed to going with the mindset of going as hard as you can for as long as you can. When you look at guys like Clayton (Kershaw) or Rich (Hill) and the elite guys in baseball that have that mindset, players are sometimes surprised how long they can go and hold their stuff instead of trying to reserve or hold back. I do believe that his effectiveness in the ’pen last year will help him.”