Hyun-Jin Ryu Comes Back Strong, Rich Hill Exits Weakly

After two years of being away from major league baseball, 29-year old Hyun-Jin Ryu returned to the fields of dreams to see if his dream of a comeback with the Dodgers could be realized.

Ryu earned his shot as he worked and willed himself back on the Dodgers’ starting rotation. He began his 2017 with a private, pre-spring training camp on the island of Okinawa, with Jang-Min Jae, one of his best friends from his days back in the Korean Baseball Organization.

Ryu entered the Dodgers’ camp in Camelback Ranch feeling healthy and confident, but things didn’t start out rosy. His first bullpen session of the spring left many disappointed and worried, as his fastball barely topped 86 mph.

The stage was set for a battle between Scott Kazmir and Ryu¬†for a starting spot. As the spring played out, Ryu got stronger, and he gained speed and control of his pitches. Kazmir’s body eventually broke down, and Ryu rightfully earned a spot in the rotation.

The Korean southpaw took the ball for his first 2017 start this afternoon in Coors Field. Much like the spring, things started off a bit bumpy, but he got control of his curveball and steadily began getting Rockies out.

He surrendered one run in the first, and had a long ball go fair by inches for a home run in the fifth. Besides that, he pitched very well for a man on the mound seeking a win for the first time in over 950 days. Ryu went 4 2/3 innings with five strike outs, six hits and one walk. Ryu has nothing to be ashamed of, and plenty to feel good about tonight.

On the flip side of the news for the Dodgers’ starting rotation, Rich Hill was placed on the 10 day disabled list because of, you guessed it, a blister – again.

Blisters have been Hill’s kryptonite for the past couple of seasons, and here we go again. Hill is nails on the mound, but he’s worthless when that $36 million blister flares up. I doubt this will be a ten-day stoppage, but I hope I’m wrong about that.

Look for Alex Wood or Ross Stripling to take Hill’s place until he can return…like Ryu did.

 

Oscar Martinez

Oscar Martinez

I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.

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17 thoughts on “Hyun-Jin Ryu Comes Back Strong, Rich Hill Exits Weakly

  1. Can we start giving some (over)due recognition to the Colletti – White regime. Other than Mattingly being horrid I think the two FO/scouting systems are about even.

    1. Many of us have done that Yueh. The best players on this team, including many of the top prospects contriburing were already here when FAZ showed up. I look forward to the year their picks, including those picked by trades, fill our roster. Until then, how do we know how effective their management really is?

    2. Nope.

      Colletti was among the worst. White was good, but the current scouting crew (is that headed by Byrnes? The mind boggles at all the execs) seems to have taken the baton with nary a missed step.

        1. Off the top of my head:

          Jason Schmidt, Matt Kemp, Andruw Jones, Brian Wilson, Brandon League, Jonathan Broxton’s deal, Roberto Hernandez as a deadline manouver, Jamey Wright, Carlos Santana giveaway, Edwin Jackson abandoning, and, everyone’s favorite:

          Juan Pierre.

          1. Juan Pierre?! FAZ might love that guy. He hit .298 with a .352 OBP and 155 SB against LHSP. Bet you didn’t know that. I didn’t.

            Yeah, there were some stinker moves Colletti made, but there is no question the organization flourished under his leadership. Only two teams in all of baseball had a better record during that time, 5 of 9 years in the playoffs, only 1 losing season in 9, record attendance numbers. It could have been a lot worse.

          2. Yes Bobby.

            The contact, especially with a declining player who is unwanted in dugouts.

            Just bear in mind that the Padres traded Kemp for nothing. Literally nothing, just to get rid of him, hist deal ,his horrible defense and his attitude.

      1. Oh, I think that overstates things in a somewhat hyperbolic way. Colletti wasn’t exactly Dave Stewart or AJ Preller (actually Preller may have learned from his mistakes).

        He did overpay for Gonzales and Ethier and maybe Kemp, but it make the team relevant after the McCourt era. Seager and Urias and Joc are products of his regime, and he was smart enough not to trade them away. The farm and scouting system did produce those guys.

  2. I always ask the same question about Colletti and Kevin Kennedy on radio… Whey arent they GM’ing or managing??? Baffles me!!!
    Always liked White…

    1. Because Colletti wasn’t very good?

      White had a run with the Padres when Friedman came in and wanted his own staff.

  3. Well…Colletti was an old school GM who did OK. His free agent signings included some of the worst in Dodger history (Jason Schmidt or Andruw Jones anybody?), but he was also limited in what he could do by Frank McCourt and his desire to treat the Dodgers as his personal piggy bank.

    As for Logan White, ask yourself this question – other than Kershaw, who was the last durable and outstanding SP the Dodgers developed? Billingsly pitched for 9 seasons and managed 1200 IP. Other than that? The last Dodgers SP with lots of IP were the likes of Chan Ho Park, Pedro Astacio and Ramon Martinez and that was a long time ago. Given the number of high draft choices spent on pitchers during the Logan White era, I would suggest that he hasn’t done as well as people think.

    1. Well, based on Schmidt and Jones Colletti did suck. But based on won loss record, attendance, making the post season, Organization of the Year award, Colletti actually did ok.

      I don’t know what to make of White. If you look at our draft record over his years, it’s a mixed, mostly empty, bag. We had a lot of high picks that amounted to not much, but he did pick a few All Stars. I don’t miss him. Can’t say I want Colletti back either, but who knows where we might be if McRectalcyst hadn’t been allowed through the front door.

      1. I agree – I don’t really miss White or Colletti – neither were great. Colletti signed a lot of duds and misspent a lot of $$$. White’s draft picks were more misses than hits> I’m just not convinced that the current group is very good either.

        1. Yeah, you’re right. While Colletti’s teams did win more than they lost, there were no pennants. I don’t yet know what to make of this current group’s long term strategy, I only know I’ve seen a lot of wtf trades and signings. Some of it I get, but most of it I don’t. To compete while restructuring is complicated. Platooning is a good theory, but to watch their result of it is often somniferous. I don’t know what to expect, so I don’t expect much. I’m sure I’ll get plenty of that.

        2. No, you might not like their particular approach to signing people like Hill or McCarthy, but you can’t argue that they are not making headway in improving the organization from the foundation up. Are you suggesting that the scouting system and farm system are not better than they were, and now maybe among the best in baseball?

          1. I’m not suggesting they are better, or worse. Until their picks prove themselves, we just don’t know.

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