Los Angeles Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu dealt with various arm/shoulder issues the past two seasons that led to him missing all of 2015 and limited him to just one start in 2016.
Ryu made his way back from the injuries in 2017 and was a mainstay in the Dodgers rotation for most of the season, appearing in 25 games (24 starts). He pitched a total of 126.2 innings, while his workload was limited a bit by some strategic stints on the disabled list.
Of course, that wasn’t a strategy unique to Ryu. The Dodgers aggressively used the 10-day DL to provide several members of their starting rotation with additional days of rest.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Ryu now feels that those gaps in his workload helped him remain healthy throughout the course of the season:
“At the time I wasn’t sure, but now that I look at it, I was able to go through the entire season, and that is probably the reason why, because they gave me extra days like that,” Ryu said. “At the same time, it was important for me to want more innings.”
Ryu posted a 5-9 record last season, yielding a 3.77 ERA, 4.74 FIP and 1.37 WHIP while striking out 116 and walking 45. His 8.2 strikeouts per nine innings tied a career-high mark.
The 31-year-old went through an offseason completely healthy for the first time in a few years, which Dodgers manager Dave Roberts believes will lead to a big season for the southpaw.
It didn’t exactly get off to the best start, as Ryu gave up five hits and three runs while striking out two and walking five in 3.2 innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks in his 2018 season debut.
He has had seven days of rest in between starts though as he takes the mound on Tuesday against the Oakland Athletics, which could further test the rest vs. rust theory.