Andrew Friedman slipped behind a fleet of Dodgers coaches and players as he walked toward the far end of a 10-pack of bullpen mounds. He leaned against a chain-link fence, crossed his arms and gazed upon the most curious purchase of the Dodgers' off-season: Japanese pitcher Kenta Maeda.

In Maeda's third bullpen session of the spring and his first since camp opened Saturday, Friedman traced his eyes from the pitcher to catcher Yasmani Grandal. When it comes to Maeda, each little moment matters while the organization decides upon a strategy to acclimate him to the rigors of the major leagues.

"Before we start putting pen to paper to come up with a plan, we want to spend this time during spring training to be around him, to get to know him, to get a better feel for his work habits," Friedman said. "To help him come up with a plan between starts. To monitor how much he throws and how he recovers."

The coming days will serve as an exploratory period for the player and the team. Friedman sipped a bottle of water, chomped sunflower seeds and chatted with his lieutenants while Maeda threw. Nearby stood pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and Manager Dave Roberts. Maeda leaned on his two-seam fastball during the 39-pitch session. He lost a couple sliders in the dirt. He flashed a changeup that impressed observers.

Maeda, 27, looms as a potential balm for the back end of the Dodgers rotation. But his arrival comes fraught with challenges, in addition to the usual ones that confront Japanese pitchers. Concerns about his physical condition add to the uncertainty.