After an early and disappointing end to the 2015 season because of shoulder surgery, Hyun-Jin Ryu was penciled in for a return this year. After the torn labrum in his throwing shoulder was repaired, Ryu was projected to return by Spring Training.
That never came to be, however, and the left-hander fell behind other pitchers in terms of progressing through a throwing program. The expected date of Ryu’s 2016 debut slowly began to slip.
There were multiple simulated games and rehab assignments and another stall due to soreness before Ryu at last took the mound for the Dodgers in July.
He allowed six runs to the San Diego Padres on eight hits and issued two walks in 4.2 innings pitched. The start was the only Ryu would make this season.
Elbow soreness scratched him from an outing after the All-Star break and required another stint on the disabled list.
Considering Ryu has essentially lost two full seasons to injuries, Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi said the club is not counting on the southpaw for next season, but would give Ryu a spot in the rotation if healthy, via Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:
“In the planning process, we can’t plan on him to be our No. 3 starter or anything, but if he’s healthy, he’s going to be in our rotation,” Zaidi said.
Even after Ryu landed on the DL in July with elbow tendinitis, there wasn’t reason to believe he wouldn’t return. However, the Dodgers transferred Ryu to the 60-day DL on Aug. 1.
He remained hopeful of pitching again in 2016 but it appeared unlikely, and a late-September arthroscopic left elbow debridement cemented that notion. The Dodgers remain hopeful they will see the 2013-14 version of Ryu when he shined as a rookie.
President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman recently said that Ryu is working extremely hard toward a 2017 return, which has the club optimistic.