The Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation withstood a plethora of injuries in the early going, including one to Hyun-Jin Ryu, who has been sidelined since the beginning of May with what was described as a severe groin strain.
Ryu has since made strides in his recovery and recently began a Minor League rehab assignment with High-A Rancho Cucamonga. He was tabbed with his first start last Friday, to which he tossed four scoreless innings with an average fastball velocity in the upper-80s.
The left-hander is now scheduled for a second rehab start on either Tuesday or Wednesday with Double-A Tulsa. Depending on his health and results after the outing, Ryu could soon rejoin the Dodgers for the stretch run.
While Dodgers manager Dave Roberts didn’t offer a specific timetable on when Ryu may return to the Majors, he is hoping to further build up his arm strength with a starting pitcher’s workload, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“We want to keep the options open but ideally, yeah, you want to build him up at least to six (innings) and 90 (pitches) to get through a major-league game,” Roberts said. “I don’t want to put it in stone. Right now, we’re kind of taking it one start at a time.”
That Roberts wants Ryu to reach the six-inning and 90-pitch thresholds likely indicates he will make at least three rehab starts before rejoining the Dodgers.
Ryu will presumably be on a longer leash in his second Minor League outing, which offers a good test in determining how his body reacts to the increased workload.
In six starts prior to landing on the disabled list, Ryu posted a 3-0 record with a superb 2.12 ERA, 3.16 FIP, 0.88 WHIP and 36 strikeouts against 10 walks across 29.2 innings pitched.
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