Dodgers News: Hyun-Jin Ryu ‘Not Too Concerned’ Over Potential Role
Keith Srakocic-AP Photo

One way or another the Los Angeles Dodgers have successfully juggled a surplus of starting pitchers this season. Creativity, injuries, subpar performance and extensive use of the 10-day disabled list have combined to provide solutions for the logjam.

Hyun-Jin Ryu has both spent time on the DL and lost his starting job at various stretches. However, since making his first career relief appearance, which resulted in a three-inning save, the left-hander has been a mainstay in the rotation.

On Thursday, Ryu held the Pittsburgh Pirates to just one run on four hits over six innings. His form at times has resembled that of pre-shoulder surgery that essentially cost the 30-year-old the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

While Ryu has found his footing, the Dodgers’ search for a dependable lefty did not come to an end with the deadline trades for Tony Cingrani and Tony Watson.

As for the prospect he could fill that role come the playoffs, Ryu declined to entertain the possibility in favor of remaining focused on the more immediate future, via Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:

“Right now, I’m not too concerned,” Ryu said. “I’m just concerned about my next outing. As a starting pitcher, if I can put my team in a position to win, I believe I’m doing my job. [Joining the bullpen is] not what I can control. That’s not a decision I have to make.”

Ryu has allowed two earned runs or less in eight of his last nine starts, yielding a 2.13 ERA and 1.22 WHIP during that span. Included in that are back-to-back starts that were part of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball telecasts, in which he tossed seven shutout innings both times.

Overall this season, Ryu is 5-6 with a 3.34 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 20 games (19 starts). While Ryu’s stretch of success figures to keep him in the rotation over the next six weeks, he’s unlikely to be one of the Dodgers’ four starters come October.

That of course could change, particularly if Alex Wood continues to be dogged by left SC joint inflammation that’s forced him to the disabled list for a second time this season.