Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Calls May Return For Hyun-Jin Ryu ‘Unrealistic’
Jon SooHoo-Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu missed all of 2015 due to a torn labrum in his left shoulder that required surgery. While it was originally believed he would be ready for Opening Day 2016, it was determined in late February that is no longer the case.

Ryu instead said he was targeting a return at some point in May. Though, Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi recently conceded setting a specific date was nearly impossible at this stage.

Ryu threw a bullpen session Monday, which was his first since February. Although the left-hander has resumed throwing, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts ruled out Ryu starting a game during Spring Training.

Roberts went on to add he doesn’t expect Ryu to make his 2016 regular-season debut in May. “I don’t have a calendar right now and I think you got to kind of map it out, but I think that the throwing program takes time,” Roberts said.

“For him, I’m not going to put a date on when he’s going to come back and if it were May, that would be roughly 20 starts (for the 2016 season), but for me, it’s unrealistic at this point.” Ryu previously remarked his goal was to make 20 starts and throw 150 innings this season.

Ryu’s absence, coupled with the loss of Brett Anderson due to back surgery, is forcing the Dodgers to rely on their depth more heavily and earlier than anticipated. “I think we tapped into our depth and guys have got to move up in the rotation,” Roberts said.

“[Ryu] was a guy that we penciled in at the top of the rotation. So again, we’ve got to adapt and things are going to happen that obviously we aren’t too excited about, but that is our reality.”

What’s more, while the Dodgers are spending Spring Training searching for a fifth starter, Roberts allowed for the possibility of the club again using a revolving door at the end of the rotation. “That’s a possibility. I think that ideally, you’d have one guy,” he said.

“But, with the off days and who we are playing, the opponent, what makes sense, and how that guy is pitching, that’ll help our decision.” Ryu is scheduled to throw 20-25 pitches during a bullpen session on Friday.

Roberts said the Dodgers haven’t decided if the left-hander would be left in extended Spring Training, and would make the decision based on Ryu’s progress or lack thereof.