While Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers and catchers were joined Thursday by a handful of position players who reported early, Hyun-Jin Ryu was a month ahead of every player.
After the Dodgers were eliminated from the postseason by the St. Louis Cardinals, Ryu returned to his native South Korea for a portion of the offseason. Upon his arrival, Ryu was met by a large group of media members and he reflected on his injury-stricken 2014 season.
Ryu said his focus was going to be on staying in shape to put himself in position to pitch 200 innings this season. With that in mind, Ryu arrived in Arizona last month to begin preparing for 2015, according to Eric Stephen of True Blue LA:
Hyun-jin Ryu has been in Arizona since January, trying to get a head start on 2015, said he is in better shape physically than in his first two spring trainings with the Dodgers. Ryu, who threw bullpen sessions and worked out with the LG Twins for the last month, reiterated Thursday that his goal was to pitch 200 innings in 2015, after injuries limited him to 152 frames last year.
Despite being sidelined twice last season with a left shoulder issue and glute injury, Ryu’s sophomore campaign in the Majors was similar to his rookie season. He made four less starts in 2014 when compared to 2013, but again won 14 games and finished with a 3.38 ERA (up from 3.30) and 1.19 WHIP (down from 1.20).
The most noticeable difference in Ryu’s stats are innings pitched as he threw 40 more in 2013 than last season, 192.0 compared to 152.0. Considering the additions of Brett Anderson and Brandon McCarthy, who both have had their share of injuries, Ryu maintaining good health throughout the season is of added emphasis.
However, in the event Ryu or any other starting pitchers miss time due to injury, the Dodgers may be in better position to remain afloat with the offseason additions of Mike Bolsinger and Juan Nicasio.
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