Lenny Ignelzi-AP Photo

Lenny Ignelzi-AP Photo

The Los Angeles Dodgers made do without Hyun-Jin Ryu through the first month of the season, jumping out to the best record in the National League West despite already needing to use nine different starting pitchers.

While they began the season without Ryu’s services, the Dodgers have since lost Carl Crawford, Brandon McCarthy and Yasiel Puig to injury, with McCarthy’s being season-ending. Crawford figures to be out for the foreseeable future with a torn oblique, but Puig is nearing a return.

According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Puig will begin his rehab assignment by serving as the designated hitter for High-A Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday:

Puig will join Kenley Jansen, who is currently on a rehab assignment with the Quakes as he aims to return at some point this month. Jansen started his third game for the Quakes Wednesday, throwing the scheduled one inning and allowing three runs, including one home run.

While Puig is making progress in his recovery, Ryu has been slowed after throwing a bullpen session Friday (May 1):

Ryu was transferred to the 60-day disabled list Monday, which Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said was more a paper move to create room on the 40-man roster for newly acquired relief pitcher Matt West and not a setback.

The move meant the earliest Ryu can be activated from the DL is May 26. Dating back to Spring Training, this now marks the second time the Dodgers have publicly acknowledged some delay in Ryu’s recovery from shoulder inflammation. After falling behind other pitchers, Ryu managed to make two spring starts, throwing a combined five innings before being shutdown.

Throughout the process the Dodgers have maintained they aren’t certain when Ryu would make his 2015 season debut. In the wake of learning McCarthy was lost for the season, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said the Dodgers likely wouldn’t pursue a trade for starting pitching until June.

Thus far the Dodgers have called on Scott Baker, Mike Bolsinger, Carlos Frias, David Huff and Joe Wieland to fill in the starting rotation at various points. Zach Lee has also pitched well in Triple-A Oklahoma City and may too figure to join the group, particularly if Ryu remains sidelined for several more weeks.

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About The Author

Matt is a journalist from Whittier, California. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, Matthew occasionally contributes to Lakers Nation, and previously served as the lead editor and digital strategist at Dodgers Nation, and the co-editor and lead writer at Reign of Troy, where he covered USC Football. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mmoreno1015

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