Hyun-Jin Ryu

The Los Angeles Dodgers began Cactus League action earlier this week and with Saturday’s tie, are 3-1-1 through their first five games. They have won three of their first four games, and without starters Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu nonetheless, with both out due to minor injuries.

But the Dodgers number two and number three options are making strides in their recovery and are expected to join the rotation next week. While Greinke threw to live hitters on Friday, Ryu advanced to the same stage Saturday morning.

Facing a pair of Minor League hitters, Ryu threw 36 pitches total, which equates to roughly two innings. This is definitely a positive sign for the left-hander, who’s looking to recover from mid-back tightness.

Ryu has played an important part for the Dodgers as a great third option behind Clayton Kershaw and Greinke. Nagging injuries limited him to 26 starts and 152 innings pitched last season, but a strong showing in the National League Division Series against the Cardinals further proved his value to the team.

Assuming all goes well, Ryu would slot into the Dodgers’ starting rotation on Thursday, one day after Greinke hopes to make his spring debut.

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