With a four-game lead in the division and 12 regular season games remaining, the Los Angeles Dodgers are in good position to repeat as National League West division champions.
The lead certainly isn’t insurmountable, especially when considering the Dodgers have a three-game series left to play against the San Francisco Giants and Hyun-Jin Ryu will miss at least one of his scheduled starts.
As for how the Dodgers will proceed with his return, manager Don Mattingly said the medical staff will dictate matters in Ryu’s recovery, according to Tracy Ringolsby of MLB.com:
We want him healthy,” manager Don Mattingly said. “This is where the medical staff is going to take over and tell us what he can and can’t do. We’re not rushing anybody back. We’re not forcing anyone to do something. That’s something we’ve not done here.
The irritation in the shoulder has been compared to the inflammation Ryu battled earlier in the season. That injury caused the southpaw to miss 23 days and a similar timetable would have Ryu out until right around Game 3 of the NLDS (Oct. 6).
While the idea of Ryu’s first start in roughly three weeks potentially coming in a postseason game may be unsettling for some, Mattingly didn’t express any concern:
He rested more than three weeks that time and probably could have pitched before we used him, and this time when they put the dye in [his shoulder for the MRI] there was cortisone,” Mattingly said. “The good thing about him is he can be out two, three weeks, throw a bullpen and be lights-out in a game.
Carlos Frias is scheduled to start in place of Ryu Wednesday and would likely make another start Sept. 22 in the series opener against the Giants if Ryu is unable to return.
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