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Biggest Dodger Surprise: The Case For Hyun-Jin Ryu

Hyun-Jin Ryu showing his close to 2018 was only the beginning.

The Los Angeles Dodgers may or may not have been surprised that Hyun-Jin Ryu accepted their $17.9M qualifying offer this past offseason. His injury-plagued history didn’t bode well in the free agent market, but in his performances when healthy he has shown himself to be a quality starter.  Whether or not to test free agency hinged on what would be looked at in great detail. Fortunately for the Dodgers and Ryu, he accepted the offer.

Ryu has not only increased his free agent value for next year, but he has surprised everyone with his Cy Young-esque first half and the Dodgers ROI could not have been foreseen.

Injuries

While Ryu has always been good, fans have only seen him in small sample size. Since his 2013 rookie season in which he finished with a 14-8 record and a solid 3.00 ERA, he has been plagued by injuries. Parts of his 2014 season, all of 2015, like 99.9% of 2016, and again significant parts of 2017 & 2018 were all marred by injuries. The tail end of 2018 however, was just a preview of what Ryu has brought in 2019.

Comeback

In 2019, Hyun-Jin Ryu owns a team best 10-2 record, a Major League leading 1.73 ERA, and a National League 4th best pitching WAR of 3.7. Additionally, he leads the NL in WHIP (.908), BB/9 (.826), and K/BB (9.90). His surprising first half dominance culminated in his first ever All-Star nod and was subsequently chosen to be the National League’s starter for the All-Star game.

Ryu Finesse

In an era of baseball where power and launch angle reigns supreme, Hyun-Jin Ryu has surprised the baseball world by dominating it with finesse. Like Greg Maddux dominating the in the steroid era, Ryu is doing the same with these “not juiced” baseballs. He has been the Dodgers most consistent pitcher and like Clayton Kershaw in the past, fans can seemingly count on a Dodgers win whenever he’s on the mound.

With Rich Hill on the injured list indefinitely, the Dodgers will rely even more on Ryu’s consistency here in the second half.

Written by Jason McClure

Technically a Dodgers bandwagon fan. At 5 years old, I decided they were my favorite team after hearing they won the World Series on my mom’s car radio in 1988. My father (technically my stepfather) watered that seed, teaching me the game and introducing me to the beauty of Dodger Stadium. We got to know each other and bonded over games. Even when we couldn’t get along during my teenage years, we could come together over Vin Scully’s voice and a game. Dodger baseball is, and will always be, so much more than just a game.

2 Comments

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  1. Hopefully, now that Ryu’s shoulder injuries are behind him and they are working on his legs to eliminate the hamstring problems they decide to sign him to a fulltime contract.

    Hill is off of the roster next year and Urias or Stripling will probably take that slot. The Dodgers have May, Gonsolin, Santana, White, and others attempting to make the big club. So I am sure it is tempting to let him go. But he is Dominate! And Dominate Starting Pitching gets you to the playoffs.

    I am hoping they use someone like Gonsolin to trade for a left-handed reliever.

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