For the past two seasons the Los Angeles Dodgers have had one of the best trios of any starting rotation in the Major Leagues.
Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu have helped lead the team to consecutive NL West titles. Kershaw is a three-time Cy Young award winner and MVP, while Greinke is a former Cy Young from his time with the Kansas City Royals. The other is a left-hander from Korea that has done pretty well since transitioning from the Korean Baseball Organization in 2013.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, manager Don Mattingly believes that Ryu often gets overlooked:
He’s one of the top pitchers in baseball,” Mattingly said.
Ryu has won exactly 14 games in both seasons, with a 3.00 and 3.38 ERA, respectively. He’s yet to reach 200 innings in a season, but has made that one of his goals for 2015. The left-hander had to adjust to the longer season in the MLB, as well as being in an entirely new country. In order to help himself reach that goal this season, Ryu came to camp earlier and began working out in January.
Not only has Ryu been consistent in the regular season, but he’s been solid in the postseason. After his first career playoff start lasted just three innings (and four earned runs), the 27-year-old settled down and has tossed 13 innings in his last two starts with just one earned run.
The trio returns this season joined by two newcomers in Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson to potentially form one of the top rotations. If the quintet can remain healthy, the Dodgers should be well on their way to a third consecutive NL West title, and hopefully a deeper run in the postseason.
If Ryu can prove his manager right, then the Dodgers could very well do so.
Dodgers FanFest – Yasmani Grandal