Dodgers News: Hyun-Jin Ryu ‘Ready To Go’ For 2016 Debut
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers got four starts from Brandon McCarthy last season before he was lost to Tommy John surgery. Hyun-Jin Ryu underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder last May and never appeared in a game.

By late Thursday afternoon, both would have completed their respective comebacks. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced Ryu will take the ball in the four-game series opener against the San Diego Padres. The start will be Ryu’s first in the Majors since Game 3 of the 2014 National League Division Series.

That’s 639 calendar days between starts. “What I’ve accomplished as far as the rehab goes, working on all my pitches and had quite a few outings, I think I’m ready to go,” Ryu said through a translator on Monday.

He added he believes he’s the same pitcher he was pre-operation and dismissed concerns about velocity. “I don’t think there’s going to be any significant changes,” Ryu said. “I’m sure as I go out there and pitch again, I’ll get it back.”

The Dodgers considered having the southpaw make another rehab start, which would have pushed back his return to after the All-Star break. “In talking to Ryu and feeling that his last start was enough and he felt starting Wednesday, he wasn’t comfortable with that,” manager Dave Roberts said.

“He felt he could come back and help us win a baseball game on Thursday.” Ryu made three rehab starts in May — two with High-A Rancho Cucamonga and one with Triple-A Oklahoma City — but suffered a setback after increasing his workload, which reset his clock.

He returned to make five starts in June; three with the Quakes and two for the OKC Dodgers. However, one of the Triple-A outings was cut short at 1.2 innings due to a rain delay. He threw a combined 18.2 innings, allowed 13 runs (12 earned) and had 17 strikeouts.

Although Clayton Kershaw is now on the disabled list with a timeline for his return unknown, there’s some relief for Roberts now that his starting rotation is slowly coming together. “The narrative all winter and throughout the season was depth,” he said.

“The way it’s played out has really saved us. It’s not just rhetoric. Now to get Brandon back and see the way he threw, and Ryu will be back, I think these guys really want to take it upon themselves to step up and do their part with Clayton out.”