Dodgers 2016 Player Review: Hyun-Jin Ryu
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

It was no secret the Los Angeles Dodgers faced the historic challenge of losing a Major-League record 28 players to the disabled list this season. In Dave Roberts first season as a manager, he and his staff constantly had to realign the rotation and find the right combination of position players.

After missing the entire 2015 season due to undergoing shoulder surgery, Hyun-Jin Ryu’s return to the rotation this year did not pan out as expected. The 29-year-old began the season on the DL, because of stalls in his recovery during Spring Training.

Ryu began a rehab assignment in May, throwing two scoreless for High-A Rancho Cucamonga. He then allowed three runs (one earned) and two home runs over three innings in a second outing with the Quakes.

A major checkpoint came May 25 when Ryu joined Triple-A Oklahoma City. He threw four shutout innings, doing so on an efficient 55 pitches (40 strikes). However, the southpaw admitted to feeling some soreness, which halted the rehab assignment.

Ryu eventually got back on the mound and made his 2016 debut on July 7. It wound up being his lone outing this season and a rocky one. Ryu allowed six runs on eight hits in 4.2 innings, battling expected rust and fatigue.

He was eventually put back on the disabled list with elbow tendinitis, and underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow in late September. That put an end to the small glimmer of hope Ryu had in returning this season.

2016 Highlight

Although it was short-lived and not necessarily a success, Ryu working his way back to a Major League mound wasn’t necessarily a small feat. At minimum, Ryu showed early signs of being able to overcome surgery to repair the torn labrum in his throwing shoulder.

2017 Outlook

Ryu is again coming off another season that was lost to surgery. He’s under contract through 2018, and if healthy, can again emerge as the Dodgers’ third starter.

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman recently said the recovery process was going well and Ryu is expected to be available by Spring Training.