Hyun-Jin Ryu Shoulders His First Bullpen Session

Hyun-Jin Ryu is washed up.”

“He hasn’t pitched in two years. He’s done.”

The naysayers have been at it all winter. The optimists have kept their fingers crossed and held on to the hope that the big Korean southpaw would bounce back from an injury, surgery and rebab-filled, past two seasons and earn his spot back in the Dodgers’ starting rotation.

Ryu’s chance has finally arrived. He came into camp with no restrictions and everyone holding their breath. He threw his first bullpen session of the spring today, and it seems we all may have to continue holding our collective breath until the next time he steps on the training field.

Ryu was never known for a blazing fastball, but his pitches today topped out at 84-86 mph. I suppose it’s a good start, but that’s just not going to cut it if he expects to reestablish himself as a starting pitcher in a rotation that already has plenty of arms vying for a limited number of spots.

Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda and Rich Hill will grab the top three spots. After that the depth chart is, while not exactly deep with fireballers, stacked with numbers. Alex Wood, Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy are sitting in the wings, and the young phenom Julio Urias, is sure to grab his share of innings in 2017.

Today’s below 90-mph bullpen didn’t wow the Dodgers, but it’s the first week of Spring Training, and there’s some truth in the notion that Ryu may have been overly cautious today, and we’ll see much more as the weeks unfold.

I wonder if Ryu has exhaled yet.

 

 

 

 

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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50 thoughts on “Hyun-Jin Ryu Shoulders His First Bullpen Session

  1. Ah, the first glimmers of Spring Training. What a nice break it has been. And, glad to see you are still Johnny on the spot with The Report!

    Probably, if I were a betting man, the chips would be placed against Ryu making any significant comeback. I could see him in a short reliever role in precise situations, but to gain the power and psychological edge back to a high level is a lot to hope for. I certainly wish him good luck and if he can be anything close to what he was before his physical demise, it would give the Dodgers a great lift in the starting rotation. He was a dependable arm.

  2. Ryu huh. Well, looking up the projections some of the fantasy sites actually believe he will pitch, though most think not all that effectively. He could be one of the 13+ starters we have this year. I think 13 was the O/U established. I’ll take the over.

    Read Dodger Therapy last night. I think he’s mostly spot on. I’m older too so I can relate to his musings. No excuse to not have tv available to all of LA. I too would prefer our starting staff was not 29th in IP, but I accept today’s game is different. KC showed you can get it done with a strong bullpen. Actually so did we, right up to that winning a pennant barrier. I purchased mlbtv just for Vin. I won’t be watching this year, and I’m not attending any games. I will continue to read. Ownership. From the OMalley family, Rupert F’n Murdoch, Frankie F’n McSphincter and now Guggenormous Investment – embarrassing.

    Looks like I have had a post in moderation since yesterday afternoon. Happens a lot. Way to keep posters involved in flowing conversation.

    1. Badger

      I have had problems where I was in moderation, because of something on my own phone.

      You should ask Scott about it, and not assume, but I understand where you are coming from.

      Why don’t you try to look at the team in a more positive way, and don’t let the other stuff, get to you, but I do feel for your situation.

      1. MJ I don’t believe that taking the under on 95 wins, and saying I don’t view this roster as championship caliber is being “negative”. I think saying THIS IS THE YEAR! every year is rather naive. 1 team out of 30 wins it, and frankly at least 20 of those 30 can be eliminated now. We aren’t one of them. How’s that for positive spin?

        As for what’s going on in my life affecting my outlook, that happens to EVERYONE. How can it not? If you live long enough you’re going to get many doses of both good and bad. I’m retired living in Sedona. There are a lot of people worse off than me, and I look around and notice it’s getting worse for many. I’m fine, and grateful for all I’ve been given.

        1. Agree with Badger.

          Setting expectations of winning the World Series is silly and setting one up for disappointment. Not only do 1 of 30 have “a chance,” but more times than I’d like the best team doesn’t win!

          Having a team that will compete year in and year out is all I hope for. Thankfully the Dodgers have that now and for the foreseeable future.

        2. Badger

          I wasn’t talking about the wins, or the record.

          I just meant the owners, the front office, and all that.

          Just try to focus on the players, and the team.

          Because you love the game of baseball, and the Dodgers.

          And even though the Royals won the series, with out good quality starting pitchers, that is not the recipe, to win a championship.

          They had an three guys in there bullpen, that were stoppers, and they were the only reason, they were able to win, with average, starting pitching, along with good all around, everyday players.

          If you look at the Cubs starting pitching, it is pretty good.

          They actually had four starting pitchers, that were very capable, of pitching, in the post season.

          And that is how they beat us, because we really didn’t have even a number three, that was a post season, type of pitcher.

          And until Urias is ready, we don’t look like we have a number three, yet.

          That is ready for the post season.

          Maeda put on some muscle in the off season, that is very apparent, if you see him, so maybe that will help him, do better, in the long season.

        3. Badger

          I feel lucky too.

          Like they say, there is always someone worse off, then you.

          But I also think we all needed to be woke up, like you have said.

          And believe me, I have been watching CNN, and the other news channels, in the last couple months.

          And I didn’t watch them, much before.

          But I do think everyone is waking up, and maybe, it won’t be as long, as some think.

          I can’t wait until the season begins, so I can have a little escape, from all of this.

          And I know you are not on an even playing field, right now, so I understand.

    2. Hello Badger – hope life is treating you well.

      I’m really surprised to hear you are not renewing your MLB subscription – just got my Bill for the year, and consider it to be great value. The thought of not being able to watch the games, even though this is only the 4th year I’ve done it, seems horrible as I enjoy it so much.
      I’m more optimistic this year than I have been in ages, and although I know we’ve been close over the past 4 seasons, I never really believed the Front Office were “all in”, hence the reluctance at the various Trade Deadlines.
      I know we have agreed that a more aggressive approach to signing a #3 Starter could well of seen us to the promised land a couple of times in the near past.
      However, I sense that the FO are now more believing in the squad they have assembled, and all the depth, and are ready to give it a real shot, and would be amazed if they ‘stood pat’ at the TD this year if we are in contention. These 2 years of Kershaw are crucial.
      You have always been the beacon of optimism since I’ve been reading here, but it seems that you have had some of the stuffing knocked out of you, especially considering the potential of this team.
      I hope it’s not all the BS on here that has dampened your enthusiasm pal.
      Have another think about renewing as once the season starts I’m sure you will regain your appetite for your favourite team.
      I remain optimistic.

  3. Yes, 84-86 on his fastball will not cut it. It was his first bull pen session. What did Kershaw throw in his first session? I find it hard to believe any pitcher will cut it loose on their first session. I may be wrong. I just do not know.

    1. Idahoal

      You are right no pitcher, throws at there top velocity when they hit spring training, and especially a pitcher, coming back like Ryu is.

      Orel had a shoulder injury, and he has said it takes much longer, with a shoulder injury.

      Because all of the muscles have to work in coordination with each other, on the shoulder.

      He is the one pitcher that could make a big difference, because he is a good pitcher, not just a thrower.

      I remember Kershaw teaching Ryu how to throw a slider, and Ryu was able to pick it up in just a week, so lets hope for the best.

  4. Dodgers sold Ruf to a Korean team, so that’s one less body in camp. I figured the guy would not make this club anyway.

      1. Why not? We have to buy the rights from them to sign one of their nationals. They call it posting, for us it is a less formal procedure, but much the same.

        1. Jonah

          From what I read, the Dodgers hasn’t said anything specific about that, quite yet.

          Do you have your TV hooked up, so you can watch TV?

          1. The story has been on mlb.com and it was on Dodgerblue. No official announcement yet, but it makes total sense since they need 2 roster spots for Gutierrez and Utley.

          2. It is hooked up but my Dish signal is on hold (4 months so far..). They charge $5 a month for that. I checked and there are a small number of crap channels available and all the movies, four or five hundred, I have stored on the DVR and an attached external hard drive are available to watch but so far I have no desire to do so. Unfortunately Dish encodes all the movies so I can only watch them through the DVR, I cannot move them to an external hard drive and use them on another TV or computer. I think I could run them all through the TV and hook up an external HD to record them from the TV input jack but it would take several hundred hours and I don’t really care anymore.. I grew up listening to the games and reading the results next day in the newspaper, watching a few games on TV. So results are mostly what I’m interested in, watching a game or talking about it, as you do here, is purely a social function and I have never been a social type person. I am… The Hermit.

      2. They can sell them to anyone they like. They are after all property of the team. His contract is just transferred to the Korean team. He is going to the Samsung Lions. There is a picture of him in a Lions jersey online somewhere. They have sold guys to the Mexican League too. Japan is a horse of a different color. When they go to Japan, they are usually released first.

        1. Michael

          What I meant was that we don’t know if the Dodgers released him, and he signed with that team.

          Or did the Dodgers talk him in to going to this team.

          I am just talking about the process.

          1. My take on that is that the Dodgers actually received money from the Koreans for his contract. He could go to Korea or retire, his choice.

          2. His contract, 1.1 million was sold to the Samsung Lions. He still has to clear release waivers. That is the only thing holding up the announcement, and a mere formality. No one is claiming that guy.

          1. Jonah

            They say he got double the money, he would have got on the Dodgers.

            And he was a prospect, that just never worked out, so not a bad thing for him, if he can handle the culture, over there.

  5. So that was another great trade……Kendrick for our RH power hitter Ruf and Sweeney (a guy we had here before.)

    This is laughable.

    1. Agree Chili,

      Not sure if the Kendrick move was to alleviate salary or appease him.

      What’s laughable about that though. He’s a veteran, he should be able to find a place to play the position he’s comfortable at or play more….

      He wasn’t going to play here.

      1. Bluto

        Howie was told when he was signed, that he would only be a utility player, and no other teams, wanted to sign him, so the Dodgers did him a favor.

        But he was complaining about playing time, right before the post season, and he hadn’t hit much at all, since July.

        And he actually was a liability in left, with his arm.

          1. It’s laughable that FAZ signed him to a 2 year/$20M contract. They did so after already signing Utley. If he was not needed then why sign him to begin with of which many of us questioned at that time.

            But since FAZ DID sign him, you know the charitable organization that FAZ has seem to become (a la Hill and now Gutierrez), they owned the rights to him.

            It’s funny how when he is traded it is a salary reduction move (Duh, who wasted the money to begin with) and then they trade him for a RH power hitting 1B (Ruf) and a guy they gave away previously (AND we all know that when FAZ trades a guy away that he is a BUM).
            When that trade took place, the FAZophants claimed it was a good move cause the Dodgers were stock piled in the OF and needed a RH bat at 1B. Move ahead 3 months and FAZ signs 38 y/o Utley (to back up 2nd base), signs RH hitting Gutierrez (he who has a degenerative disease and has not played in 100 games in any one season over the past 6 years) plus they had Ruf on the 40 man roster. Kendrick alone could do what each of those players were signed to do.

            That is what is laughable. This front office could host their own comedy network.

            Allow me to ask, in the end, what did the great FAZ end up with after trading the $20M commodity known as Howie Kendrick?

          2. Hi Chili,

            I think the team signed Kendrick for the exact same reason they signed Utley and Gutierrez. For depth. And that is exactly what they got out of him.

            When they felt they could get better depth value from other players, they traded Kendrick.

            I don’t get how this is funny in a chiding way or an overly comical way. It just seems like practical business decisions. It would be gallows humor if the Dodgers were a low-revenue team and they lamented the money they paid Kendrick, but obviously that’s not an issue. They just signed Utley and Gutierrez for above rookie pay wages.

            But, if you think they over-paid for Kendrick, I guess we could debate that. I think they did not, and got a return on him. As opposed to Crawford.

            I differentiate all this from Hill, because Hill’s an top of the rotation pitcher. Or at least the front office thinks he is.

          3. Don’t see how signing Kendrick to a $20M/2 yr contract is laughable. He was signed to provide a right hand bat that could play multiple positions last year. He turned out to be valuable outfield depth when Van Slyke and Thompson went down. He also provided 2nd base insurance if Utley had gotten injured.

            I am sure FAZ hoped 32 yr old Kendrick would play better both offensively and defensively with a better attitude, but, the fact FAZ was able to trade him without eating ANY salary and receive two players back shows the contract was not laughable. I don’t remember anybody rejoicing over the players received in return, but, they both could have potentially filled a need at very little cost. Many possible reasons for trading Kendrick, but, bottom line FAZ must have thought they could do better for less money.

            Kendrick arguably earned his 2015 salary of $10M. Then FAZ was able to unload him and his 2017 $10M salary at ZERO cost. I believe EVERY GM would be happy if all their signings worked out this way.

  6. Kendrick did a decent job when he was healthy. He was told this winter that this year would be more of the same, thus the trade to the Phils. Note, he is scheduled to be the Phillies regular left fielder. Guess that they have a better option there.

  7. Tell me what you think.
    162 times someone will have to pitch to the other team’s lead off hitter:
    Kid K 30
    Maeda 25
    Hill 20

    That leaves 87 games remaining

    Urias 20 (max of 6 innings per start)

    Down to 67 remaining. Now the scary stuff:

    Kazmir 15
    ******* 10 (this is reserved for this year’s Bud Norris

    So down to 42

    McC 10
    Strippling 10
    Stewart 10

    That leaves 12 starts for Ryu or Wood or divided between them.

    So that’s 10 to 11 total starting pitchers with the top three starting almost half of them.

    So it’s basically two groups 3:7 or 3:8.

    Yeah that pretty scary when 7 to 8 pitchers will be needed to pitch more than half our games. Probably means most of tier 2 stinks! But maybe that is normal these days.

      1. My son??? That is an outrage. My son has class and can repair A/C units on big buildings. Bud Norris couldn’t get you, or me out MJ…….

  8. I hope we can all agree on this, a textbook laughable trade!

    February 17, 2017: #Marlins 26-year-old LHP Chris Reed voluntarily retired this week. He was a #Dodgers first-round pick from Stanford in 2011.

    July 15, 2015: The Marlins have acquired lefty Chris Reed from the Dodgers in exchange for fellow southpaw Grant Dayton, Miami announced. Reed had recently been designated for assignment by Los Angeles.

      1. Yeah, and Kolton Wong, Joe Panik, Jackie Bradley, Trevor Story and others. Reed wasn’t Logan White’s finest moment, but, I think McCourt wanted a cheap signing. Times have changed for the better!

      1. Dayton is an interesting study. I didn’t know him, so I did some reading up.

        Why did it take so long for him to get to the ML? He’s 29, pitched ok for Auburn, pitched in the minors for 6 years, and his stats there say he was pretty good. Why did Miami let this guy go? His 26 IP for us were very impressive, but again, why did this guy spend so much time in the minors? A LH pitcher that gets people out, and many by strike outs, traded for LH pitcher who sucks and voluntarily retired? Something doesn’t add up.

        1. Good scouting. But more specifically, the Front Office seems very taken with spin rate.

          Hill has also spoken on this. Of all Dayton’s assets, spin rate is perhaps the biggest outlier. Roberts said, “He’s a high spin-rate guy, he has a good fastball, good fastball life and obviously the data says high spin rate so he does have that swing-and-miss fastball.”

          Dayton even tweeted on this:
          https://twitter.com/GrantDayton/status/687068383637057536

          If I put two links in this, I’ll be stuck in “moderation”. So you should also google minorleagueball’s take on Dayton. A ton of stuff on the analytic friendly sites like BP and FG.

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