Dodgers News: Hyun-Jin Ryu ‘Not Worried’ Over Specific Slot In Starting Rotation
Dodgers News: Hyun-jin Ryu ‘not Worried’ Over Specific Slot In Starting Rotation
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

It was around this time on the calendar that Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts pointed to as to when the club would likely gain some clarity on various components of their roster construction for Opening Day of the 2017 season.

That’s held true with the starting rotation, as Scott Kazmir, Brock Stewart and Julio Urias have seemingly been eliminated from contention. Kazmir faced Minor League hitters in a simulated game on Thursday, and is not yet scheduled to start in a Cactus League game.

Stewart was recently shut down due to tendinitis, and Roberts recently conceded Urias would be hard-pressed to break camp with the club considering he hasn’t been stretched out.

Meanwhile, Hyun-Jin Ryu remains in the thick of the competition with Brandon McCarthy and Alex Wood. Ryu allowed just one run and had four strikeouts in three innings pitched against the Chicago Cubs.

After the outing he dismissed the notion of having concern over where he may slot into the Dodgers’ rotation, and instead is focused on simply being part of the Opening Day roster, via Bill Plunkett of the O.C. Register:

“I feel like I’ll be ready for opening day,” he said Thursday. “I’m not too concerned about the spot (his former status as the No. 3 starter). I just want to be in the starting rotation.”

Ryu expressed confidence last month he’d be in position to earn a spot in the Opening Day rotation. The left-hander was temporarily slowed by discomfort in his adductor muscle, but has now put together a pair of encouraging starts.

Ryu has allowed just one run and has six strikeouts to one walk over a combined five innings pitched this spring. Next for the 29-year-old is a start where Ryu will be expected to complete four innings.

Even with the positive developments, the Dodgers remain cautious in their handling of a pitcher who’s made just one start in the past two seasons. And because of that, Ryu may temporarily lose out to McCarthy and Wood in the rotation at the outset of the season.