Heading into the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation was widely expected to be led by Clayton Kershaw, with the torch potentially passed to Walker Buehler at some point during the year. Instead, it’s largely been carried by Hyun-Jin Ryu thus far in 2019.
The Dodgers’ rotation has been on an impressive stretch, which has helped the team to a National League-best 33 wins. Their surge can be traced back to when Kershaw was activated off the 10-day injured list.
However, Ryu has been nothing short of phenomenal from the beginning. He rose to the occasion with a strong start on Opening Day and overcame a minor blip in the radar — stint on the IL because of a groin strain — to continue forging ahead.
He takes the mound Saturday at PNC Park at 6-1 with a 1.52 ERA, 2.61 FIP and 0.74 WHIP in nine starts this season. Ryu’s path should at minimum earn him a spot on the National League roster in the 2019 MLB All-Star Game at Progressive Field.
However, the possibility is not on the left-hander’s mind, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“I actually never really thought about making the All-Star team, let alone starting an All-Star Game,” Ryu said. “It never really crossed my mind yet. It’s a little too early because you never know what’s going to happen in the future. There’s still more games to be played before the All-Star break.
“But I’m pretty sure I’ll feel the same way as a lot of the other people who make the All-Star team if I do get selected or get to start that game. It’s going to be something very significant in my life and my career. But like I said it’s still too early and I haven’t put any thought into it.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is due to lead the NL roster at the Midsummer Classic by virtue of his club winning the league title last season. Roberts also managed the NL All-Stars in 2018, when he named Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer his starter.
Ryu enters Saturday leading the Majors in ERA, ERA+ (269) and his WHIP is best in the NL. He additionally is in the midst of a 31-inning scoreless streak.
Zack Greinke (2015) was the last Dodgers pitcher to start an All-Star Game. Prior to Greinke, the honor was held by Brad Penny in 2006.