Hyun-Jin Ryu, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list at the start of the season due to shoulder inflammation that sidelined him in Spring Training, has slowly been progressing through his rehab process.
A few days removed from president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman stating he didn’t know when Ryu would throw a bullpen session much less return, the left-hander crossed a hurdle Sunday, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
Ryu threw 20 fastballs off a mound.
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) April 26, 2015
While Ryu throwing his first bullpen session is a positive development in it of itself, the fact that David Vassegh of AM 570 reports he didn’t feel any discomfort is significant:
Ryu had 90 throws between long toss and bullpen session today. He didn't have any pain. Will throw another Bullpen session on Tues
— David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) April 26, 2015
While the Dodgers certainly won’t rush him along, Ryu’s return could be of more importance depending on what transpires with Brandon McCarthy in the coming days. McCarthy was removed from his start Saturday with elbow tightness and is scheduled to undergo an MRI.
Last season Ryu finished with a record of 14-7 and a 3.38 ERA in 26 starts. Due to multiple stints on the disabled list, he was held to just 152 innings, compared to throwing 192 innings in his rookie season and set a goal of pitching 200 innings in 2015, which no longer is within reach.
The Dodgers front office successfully added pitching depth to the organization during the offseason that thus far has filled in adequately when needed. However, said depth will be strained should the Dodgers simultaneously be without McCarthy and Ryu for a prolonged period of time.
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