Dodgers News: Ryu’s Expected Date Of Return Largely An Unknown

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE (April 25, 3:50 p.m. PT): According to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Hyun-Jin Ryu is expected to throw a bullpen session in the coming days:


Hyun-Jin Ryu began preparing for the 2015 season weeks before pitchers and catchers were expected to report for the start of Spring Training. Unfortunately for the left-hander, his work during the offseason was washed away as he first suffered mid-back tightness followed by inflammation in his throwing shoulder.

The latter was an issue Ryu was twice placed on the 15-day disabled list last season and one that isn’t considered serious. That being said, Ryu began the season on the DL and there’s been little progress to report on, outside of him throwing from 60 feet on flat ground.

When asked recently about Ryu’s recovery and whether he’d return before the All-Star break, Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman offered few specifics, via AM 570 LA Sports:

I don’t know yet. It’s more just day by day and making sure the arrow is still pointing up. It’s hard to put a timetable on it until he starts getting off the mound. Once he does that, we can put a plan together to build him up and get him back. Until then, I’m not as focused on when will he back as the day-to-day progress.”

When pressed further, Friedman neither ruled out or committed to Ryu returning before the All-Star break and said he didn’t know when the South Korea native would begin throwing from the mound.

For all intents and purposes, the Dodgers expected to be without their starter for the majority of April. Their schedule in the first month of the season set up so that a fifth pitcher was only needed twice — those starts went to David Huff and Mike Bolsinger in games the Dodgers won.

However, May won’t afford the same luxury and while Friedman would prefer to stick with one replacement for Ryu as opposed to continuing with the use of multiple pitchers, he suggested the club will remain flexible moving forward:

A lot of our guys in Oklahoma City are pitching really well right now. Ideally when we go with a guy, they’ll be with us until Ryu is healthy. But we have a lot of interesting options and to the extent something doesn’t work out we’ll kind of look ahead to our upcoming opponent and try to figure out who we think gives us the best chance to win.”

While it’s not tied to the fifth spot in the rotation coming up, the Dodgers are expected to use a Minor-League pitcher in Sunday’s game, likely either Scott Baker or Joe Wieland. The change allows for the remaining starting pitchers to get an extra day rest.

Although Ryu potentially not returning until after the All-Star break is a considerable blow for a team that’s built on pitching, the Dodgers have maintained they won’t rush his recovery and there’s no reason to deviate from that course of action.

It will place additional pressure on Brett Anderson and Brandon McCarthy, but both have pitched well to this point. Moreover, Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi stockpiled plenty of arms that should help ease Ryu’s prolonged absence.


Los Angeles Dodgers President Of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman

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  1. McCarthy going down does not help. If Peralta and McCarthy go on DL maybe bring up Bolsinger and perhaps Weiland or Lee? The good news as Matthew Moreno stated there are several pitchers throwing very well in Okie City. So there is really no need to panic and make a bad trade. We are in first place with all of the injuries and it is a long year.

    1. If we are in first even dealing with all the injuries, I can’t wait to see what happens when everyone is healthy.

      1. Yes I agree. These things happen in the course of a very long season. The great thing is we have found some electric young arms for the BP in Garcia, Baez, Liberatore. Nicasio has recently done very well also. I am not sold on Hatcher but Oh Well, he seems to be Freidman’s boy so untouchable but not un-torchable as he continues to struggle. Anderson has performed very well and I think will continue to get better. Dodgers put Puig and McCarthy on 15 day DL today which will give them some maneuver room. Ethier has found his timing, Guererro, SVS and Turner all very strong back-ups and will be better if used more so Puig down for a couple of weeks not that bad a thing. Bolsinger pitched well and we will see how Baker does. We are OK.

        1. Well, it looks like the much maligned front office did a pretty good job of building depth. Thank goodness.

          1. Yes they did, The FO has made some great trades and pick ups. But they will be defined if time shows they made huge mistakes. But let’s face it if you make a lot of trades some of them are going to turn out and some will bite you in the tail. That is the way it is. It is a very inexact science. There have been very bad trades in the past by the Dodgers and there will be some very bad ones in the future it is inevitable. You have to hope you good ones outweigh the bad. I believe the Grandal trade will hang around this FO’s neck for a long time. Unless he drastically improves which i hope and pray he does,

        2. Agreed with everything, though IMO I don’t think anyone is truly untouchable. With $90M spent to make players go away, I’ll bet if Hatcher’s ERA isn’t below 4.00 by June, he’s as good as gone.

          Also of note, Howell’s only thrown 13 pitches all week. Hmm… trade brewing??

          1. I hope no one is untouchable. Hatcher has been Not Good. Of course many on this blog disagree, like Alex, but as Michael Norris calls him the Grand Mistake. Aka Grandal continues to be a very real defensive liability. As the FO says they are into defense perhaps they can wait until he consistently hits above the Mendoza line and trade him to his third team in a very short career. Bring up Barnes they made a great trade with Hernandez and Barnes included in the Gordon deal.

          2. I don’t think the F.O. is afraid to admit mistakes. They are making Barnes play catcher full-time–in case the Grandal experiment doesn’t work. Again, by June, they’ll re-evaluate and see if they could win more games with Ellis/Barnes than Grandal/Ellis.

            Although, I don’t think Grandal is as bad defensively as some say he is. I saw him make a great reach and tag out on Amarista running home. Also when Baker gave up that second home run, Grandal was calling for an inside pitch, but Baker pitched out. The wild pitch late in the game really was a bad pitch by Frias.

            Still, his hitting has been disappointing to say the least, and I would put him at least 8th in the lineup for now until he can find his swing. If he’s getting on base but not moving runners, might as well bat low so the pitcher can bunt you over. I’d like to see Guerrero move up to the 5th spot (what more can we ask, lol), but I know management wants him to wait since he is a “rookie” despite having about 10 years of professional big league experience.

          3. Alex we agree mostly. I am one of those old Dodger guys and watching Grandal defensively he is not making the plays he should. I do not know if he is not paying attention or what is up with him. Example are those two pitches by Hatcher 2 games ago in the ninth. Yes Hatcher bounced those pitches but as a catcher you must block them so they stay in front of you. It is a Major Mistake to let them get behind you and allow the runner to easily advance. Those sloppy mechanics can cost your team a win in a tight series and he very rarely gets in front of bounced pitches in the dirt. Offensively he pops up or grounds into DP’s way too often. He does not do the Team baseball play and move runners over, he is arrogant or ignorant not sure the result is the same. Really the Grandal trade is the only one that has so far gone bad. Not too bad of an average. Everyone makes mistakes. But if the Pads ride Kemp to the Pennant it will look very bad for them. Otherwise baker played really well as did Bolsinger and the BP is doing very well. I bet they would like their money back on McCarthy.

          4. Well I didn’t see that inning where Hatcher pitched, so I can’t comment on it. From what I have seen so far, I haven’t seen anything that makes him a very real defensive liability. Sure a few pitches got away, but mostly from terrible pitches by new guys. I’ve seen him protect home plate very well when guys like Pederson, Ethier, Turner, etc. are all throwing out runners at home. Very good at getting in position to receive the ball, turn to block the plate (legally), and applying the quick tag. Good defense goes far beyond dropping a couple of pitches a month.

            We haven’t even touched pitch-framing (which you can agree to disagree with myself and the F.O. about its value) where Grandal is still consistently one of the top framers, whereas Ellis is still consistently one of the worst (improved, but still not good enough).


            He’s currently at +25 more strike calls than Ellis, whereas Ellis is dead even. That is 25 more times where the batter could be 0-2 instead of 1-1, or heck, even struck out instead of a ball or a walk. And it’s almost always true across the league where batting averages are consistently far worse at 0-2 than at 1-1.

            Overall, no I don’t think he’s Yadier Molina; I just think we need to see the whole picture of a catcher and not just a few catches here and there. Yes, his offense is atrocious, but Ellis can’t hit any better. If the Grandal experiment works by June, then hooray. If not, he’ll be replaced by Austin Barnes anyway, so we’re in good hands thanks to our F.O. adding all this depth.

          5. Tagging guys out is something most catchers enjoy and are usually good at. But letting bounced balls get away although you do not realize it is a Big Deal. It usually advances a runner and just as importantly tells the pitcher he cannot throw a pitch in the dirt for a swing and miss because if it gets away with runners on they get to advance. Yes he is supposedly framing well. I respect Mike Sciosca more than most mgr’s and ex/catchers Mike says he is not convinced it is a “real” stat.

          6. That’s strange, since I heard Mike Scioscia say he’d rather take a good pitch framer than a good game caller.

            Regardless, it’s one of many stats to use, and more and more GM’s are valuing it to a point where they’re giving 8-figure deals to guys who can master it. You can disagree with most of baseball, but it’s there.

            The video replays don’t lie, and it will continue to be around forever.

            As far as tagging guys out, I’ve seen plenty of catchers stand in the wrong place, or not know where the runner is while receiving the ball, or they’re slow to react. Yet, Grandal has consistently shown he has good awareness and can prevent runs on bang bang plays. So what if a catcher “likes” doing it or not, if they don’t do it well, you’re giving up lots of runs, especially in big-game situations where you need to stop the other team’s momentum. You have to give Grandal credit for that.

            For someone who is more old-school, I would think you would value that type of defense instead of just tossing it by the wayside.

            As far as letting runners advance, like I’ve said before, put the ball in the bleachers and that’s already +4 bases. He’ll drop 10-12 more pitches all year, but just 3 home runs already makes up for that. You have to assess players more than simply dropping pitches.

            Hopefully he’ll find his stroke and at least do .250 with 18 homers and a high OBP.

          7. I have watched most games he has let about 8-10 balls by him already. You like Grandsl that is Ok. It is a matter of opinion. In the long run at the end of the year I hope you are right but fear you are very wrong.

          8. I like his potential, but not his current overall performance.

            I do agree that he is not hitting well, and yes, dropping pitches is always a big no-no. And I apologize if I sound like I’m trying to force you to change your mind or anything. I’m really not. I just don’t think he’s as bad as some think he is. That’s all. Fortunately we have a very deep bench with Barnes and Co., so I’m confident it’ll work itself out and we can keep winning games with or without Grandal.

          9. Great discussion going on here guys. Wish I hadn’t been so busy at work today so I could have participated more.
            One aspect that we haven’t touched on and is impossible to measure is this–is the loss of kemp + the not so great performance of grandal a net gain over keeping kemp? If it’s true that his ego and attitude were causing trouble in the clubhouse as we were led to believe, then while losing his offense, we also lost a cancer which was causing other players to not play well. We don’t and can’t know that…but what we do know is that the FO specifically tried to bring in vets that are known for being team players and having good character. Kemp leaving seems to be telling in itself. So yes, I agree that grandal could be doing better, although he has not been as atrocious as some seem to believe. We also need to remember that the kemp trade got us jimmy Rollins. I’d say when you consider the peripherals, not just on the field play, the kemp trade is a net positive. That’s not to say he’s not going to rake in SD, but I think we are better off without him. We really don’t have room for him anymore anyway.

          10. Blue, yes you always add to a discussion. As you said it is not something we know as far as Kemp being a problem in the Clubhouse. They have implied he was but never said so. I find it interesting that the guys who are strong in Leadership on the club like, Gonzalez, Uribe, Kershaw, Ellis never said there was an issue last year. And even now when Handley and Kemp are gone they have never said that there was a distraction. I really dislike character attacks like that as they are not fightable if you are accused of the issue. But are we better without Kemp? I think to be fair trades and transactions have to be measured at least a year later, sometimes longer. The McCarthy signing does not look good right now… He is on the DL for the year and needs surgery. I think we will have to judge Grandal in a year. But unless he improves I do not like his hitting or defense. And I am rooting for the FO to get their head out and get Barnes up here. Too me it looks like the FO made 3 large mistakes this year. McCarthy, Hatcher and Grandal. We will see. They made some good ones also and have been unlucky as far as McCarthy is concerned but that is the way it goes.

          11. The thing about the leaders you mentioned not talking bad about kemp is this…real leaders wouldn’t throw someone under the bus like that. I believe they’re too mature and have too much character and tact to do so if he was in fact a problem.
            I have to believe that the rumblings and rumors we kept hearing were not coming from thin air. We lost two big egos with kemp and Hanley leaving. We now have more proven team players. I like that, but that’s just me. I’d rather have a team with *maybe* a little less talent that all “pulls the same direction” as Donnie said was not happening next year….

          12. Well Blue your point is well taken, you are correct in that true Leaders would not go to the press and apparently did not. And as you said the bottom line is they had 1 to 2 OF’s too many as they had to either play Pederson or trade him and they did not want to trade him. I think Pederson is doing very well as he has made a very positive impact defensively and is learning how to hit in the Majors which is difficult to say the least. plus he is hitting in the 8 hole which is a spot in the NL you see nothing but junk. Yes the news about McCarthy is bad. The good news about this FO is they have built depth and we have some options in AAA that are pitching very well. Bolsinger did well as did Baker. Read today Liberatore is being called up. I really like his arm. The FO did really well getting him. Hatcher needs to start throwing strikes and missing bats or he should be in AAA. Santos has a very nasty breaking pitch and can still bring it in the 90’s and has closer experience so we will see what they do with him. If at the end of they year Hatcher is still a bust, Grandal hits around the Mendoza line and cannot block a bounced pitch and we know that McCarthy is out for the year at least. How they rate themselves. It all will depend if we win the WS. Because at the end of the day that is what truly matters. Nothing else.

          13. Hey let’s just be thankful that we don’t have to sign Correia and what’s his name again this year. Haha it’s nice to actually have reasonable options this season.

            Sounds terrible and I mean it somewhat in jest, but as long as we aren’t 9 games back at the all star break, we’ve drastically improved over the past two years. :p

          14. Amen sir. This FO has done much better with the depth issue But it has helped that some of the Farm hands like Garcia,Paco and Baez have done well. .

          15. This comment from you is the first I’ve heard about the results from McCarthys mri today. That’s really disappointing. Fortunately, it seems we have some pitchers that are capable of stepping up. They’ve done well so far filling in for Ryu. Hopefully this depth continues to prove itself.

          16. You can’t say McCarthy was a mistake. He was healthy all of last year. Anyone can get injured at any time. Ryu will have missed over 100 innings last year and this year by the time he gets back.

          17. Yes I can because most of baseball said the contract was a mistake as McCarthy is FRAGILE. They all said he would break somehow some way. There are some people like that he is one of them. The good news for him is he has a ridiculous 4 year 40Million dollar plus contract. Ryu has still pitched more than McCarthy can we call him McCathy just to be childish? Ryu is a very good big game pitcher and will be back. McCarthy will not. Everyone told our Golden Boys it was a bad contract and they said it was not. Well they were wrong as McCathy gets the money this year and we get 3 games pitched and an outrageous ERA.

          18. Incorrect. He was getting 3-year deals from other teams. We just wanted him that bad that we added one more year.

            Also, what do you mean by “one way or another,” unless you want to factor in “bad karma” like getting hit in the face by a line drive or whatever into signing baseball players. Please tell me you knew he was gonna get TJ. You can’t.

            Also, if Ryu needed TJ, that’s still lost money.

            And of all people to talk about big game, didn’t you want us to sign James Shields, Mr. I Can’t Pitch In The Playoffs At All Shields? We didn’t get the chance to see what McCarthy would do for us this year, so we won’t know about that until next year.

          19. Yes winning is important but you have to pitch. PS I would have taken Shields not McCarthy and I would still have a #1 or 2 pitching for me. Shields eats innings which is what you need and McCarthy has never done so but once. So seem a bit cranky hit a nerve? This is not personal. Also Shields is one of the best mentors leaders in the clubhouse bar none. He is always a great influence so he adds to the club house. KC talked a lot about Shields ability to help their pitchers. And he did get them to the WS something I would take as we have not been there in How many years?? Ask anyone in baseball would you take Shields or McCarthy and I bet I know who wins in a landside….

          20. as you are the Grandal guy. He is hitting .204 so still hovering at the Mendoza line but even worse is not a team player he strikes out with one out and a runner at third ttonight. The guys is a huge negative as far as team chemistry. You give yourself up you do not continue to pop up, hit into DP’s with runners on and lees than 2 out. You move the runner over. He never does it. But as he seems to be the FO Golden Child he plays and the better defensive catcher sits. Hopefully it does not bite us in the tail later.

          21. I’m not exactly a Grandal guy. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best, you probably think he’s a 1, but I think he’s at least a 4. If he can start hitting better, he can go up to a 6 or 7, with a ceiling of probably an 8 if he can go .250 with 20 dingers. I just think he gets too much unwarranted hate.

            I wouldn’t be upset if the F.O. gave up on him; gotta bat better than .204 no matter what pitch-framing or walking you do. At least .250 for him is what I want to see.

            As of now, you’re right; he’s not moving runners over, so I’d bat him 8th until he gets his swing back.

          22. OK That is fair. I think Grandal is very low probably 2-3 as he is horrible at blocking pitches. As I have said. To me it is a huge deal. He would have to hit in the solid 280-300 for me to even think about playing him as he is a liability behind the plate. Lets be positive to end the day. The Dodgers won over the Giants. Anderson pitched well and then the wheels came off a little. But he is getting there. Frias, liberatore, Garcia and yes Mr Hatcher pitched well. I reallly hope Hatcher comes around he has a very live arm and we need him. Pederson is doing very well and his defense and arm are stopping runs. Plus he works the pitchers deep in counts and walks a lot. Also he is batting close to .300 in the 8 hole very impressive. Crawford goes out with reported side pull not good… Bring up Hernandez maybe as he can play everywhere? I am in PHX on work and Rockies beat Diamondbacks tonight. Starting to warm up here going to hhit 100 this week. yikes.

          23. Stay cool, man. I used to live in Vegas and occasionally worked outdoors in the summer. Not fun!!

            And great win yesterday. Yes, we definitely need Hatcher at his best; 3.50 ERA is all I ask.

            Really would love to sweep back the Giants and go 5-4 this trip, but at least a series win would be nice.

            And why hasn’t Howell pitched at all lately? Last year he sat 9 days in September and went downhill from there. Perhaps we’ve given up on him already?

          24. I would also like to see hatcher do well. He’s from a town about 20 minutes from me. Would be cool to meet him…hope he’s doing well and still with the big club in July. We’ve got seats directly behind the bullpen in DC in a few months….can’t wait.

          25. By the way Shields has pitched 25 innings this year. He is 2-0 and has a 3.24 ERA beat the Giants and Cubs…. He pitches tomorrow…

          26. Okay, you realize KC got to the WS DESPITE Shields pitching like crap all postseason, right? Ask anyone if they want a 7.00 ERA pitcher as their starting ace in the playoffs.

            Also, what do you mean by hitting a nerve? Only people whose nerves have been hit would actually say that. I just feel like you’re way off base trying to say, “I told you so,” with a very common injury completely unrelated to his past.

          27. Fragile pitcher some are some are not. Bottom line Shields pitched in the WS. Yep had a bad playoff so did Kershaw does not make him a bad pitcher but he got there. I take Shields because his HISTORY is he eats innings McCarthy’s history is he is FRAGILE and goes down. Guess who is still pitching nuff said,..

          28. Yeah, and he lost both WS games he pitched and gave up 10 runs in 21 innings earlier. Guess who gave the Giants another ring to add to their collection. Nuff said?

            And no, you can’t compare him to Kershaw; Kershaw is much younger and actually pitched well outside of 3 innings. I still feel he’ll improve, whereas Shields just hasn’t had it year in and year out.

            Look, it’s great if one guy can do all 220 innings + playoffs, but if 2 or 3 guys can make up for it and still give us quality innings, then it really makes no difference. Being an “innings eater” isn’t terribly important if you have good depth to make up for it.

          29. I agree with you Alex we just disagree on Grandal. It is Ok as trades and transactions cannot be evaluated in less than one season. We will see. But discussing it and debating and disagreeing is part of the fun of baseball. It is not personal. Have a great night…

          30. I have noticed that Grandal has also been bad at catching foul tips, and turning them into foul balls, and giving the batter many more chances. This has happened more than few times, especially when Kershaw has been pitching! The only reason that AJ hit at the Mendoza line last year, was because of his injuries! If AJ would have took more time to heal, he probably would have come back hitting! He came back really fast, after having knee surgery last year, because he is a team player! I know AJ is getting older, but considering that Grandal is not hitting, and his defensive play is questionable, I think AJ should get more playing time!

          31. Michelle Bless You, Many of us completely agree. AJ Ellis has played hurt the last couple of years because the Dodgers did not have a reliable 2nd catcher. When he finally healed he was a solid hitter in the Post Season. He has hit in the high 270’s when not hurt and has the ability to see a lot of pitches unlike Grandal. Ellis usually manages to get on base also unlike Grandal. And Ellis is a much better defensive catcher as you have observed. The Front Office traded Kemp for the Grand Mistake Yasmani the Rally Killer ( nicknames by Michael Norris) Grandal and cannot admit they have made a mistake. We know this because they continue to play Grandal even with his Rally killing bad defensive ways. While Ellis patiently waits on the bench. Hopefully soon Freidman will pull his head out and tell DM it it OK to play Ellis. But I doubt it. Last check Grandal hovering at Mendoza line but suppose he hits .260 still not good enough to compensate for his defense and lack of team hiiting ie moving runners over with less than two out. Thanks for the observation Michelle

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