The Dodgers have some decisions to make concerning their starting rotation. The club is finishing up their road trip with a series in San Francisco against the Giants starting on Monday night. Lanky right hander Brandon McCarthy is due to be activated off the disabled list and start in the series opener. Southpaw Rich Hill is also slated to be activated and start in this series as well. With those two returning the Dodgers are going to have to make a couple of roster moves to clear space. Most importantly they’re going to have to figure out who stays in the rotation and who goes.
The club has already announced that left hander Alex Wood is staying in the rotation. That’s not a surprise after his recent dominant stretch of starts. I’m good with that. Obviously Wood has been very strong and you have to leave him in the rotation.
The Dodgers could use a six-man rotation which is something they were doing earlier before guys went down with injuries. Otherwise at least one starter is going to have to be removed from the rotation. Right now, the Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood, Julio Urias, Hyun-jin Ryu in the rotation with Kenta Maeda still on the disabled list as well.
Maeda should come back soon as he recovers from hamstring tightness, but with McCarthy and Hill returning in this series the Dodgers can choose between using a six-man rotation or letting someone walk.
The Dodgers could option someone like Josh Fields back to Oklahoma City again since they’re carrying 8 relievers. However Fields has pitched well and the choice could come down to either keeping Hyun-jin Ryu on the roster, or sending Urias back down to Oklahoma City.
I’m going to go out on a limb and make a bold statement here. Hyun-jin Ryu is cooked, I think they should release him instead of sending Urias or Fields back to triple-A. It pains me to say this because I’ve always liked Ryu. He’s been great for the Dodgers since he was signed in 2013. He had two solid years in 2013-2014 for the Dodgers, but sadly he has been riddled with career threatening injuries since then and hasn’t been an effective pitcher in years.
Look, I hope I’m wrong, but looking at the numbers and facts and seeing him attempt his comeback this season and the way he’s pitched you can tell. He doesn’t look good. Hs velocity and command have been poor.
The numbers don’t t look good for him. Ryu is 1-5 this year in 6 starts with a 4.99 ERA in 30.2 innings pitched. He’s given up 10.3 hits per nine and struck out 33 against 14 walks. His FIP is at 5.06 and he’s allowing over 4 walks every nine innings. Ryu has had two good starts this season and has pitched past the fourth inning in only 3 of his 6 starts.
As for Urias, he’s had some control issues this year. He’s walked 11 in 21 innings and has yet to win his first start of the season. His strikeouts are down and he’s struggled with his secondary pitches. Urias is still a multi-talented young pitcher and a rising star from the Dodger’s farm system. Urias is developing but he needs to be pitching. He needs the major league experience right now.
The Dodgers management know that things don’t look to be working out with Ryu. He doesn’t look good and the club is going to try and give him some extra rest by pushing him back a couple of days.
I don’t think that’s going to help him much. I know that this is a process with Ryu and that management believes they can build him back up into a reliable starting pitcher again. That takes time. However the numbers and results say otherwise. I think that Ryu is not the same pitcher he was and may never be again. He didn’t pitch in a major league game for over two years. Sometimes guys don’t come back and you have to make a decision that’s best for the club.
We may be approaching that point with Ryu.