It’s no secret the Los Angeles Dodgers have suffered tremendous blows to their starting rotation.
First it was the shoulder injury to left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, one that initially reported to keep him sidelined just a few weeks. Then came the season-ending elbow injury to Brandon McCarthy, which required Tommy John surgery that will keep him sidelined well into the 2016 season.
The Ryu situation took a turn for the worse this week, as it was announced he underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Then to the surprise of just about everyone, Ryu revealed Friday he had the tear when he signed with the Dodgers in 2013.
Before Ryu spoke with the media at Dodger Stadium, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly held his usual pregame session during which he addressed losing a second starter for the remainder of the season. “We’ve been battling and hopeful all year he was going to keep improving,” Mattingly said.
“He was moving in the right direction and starting to throw bullpens, his velocity was getting where it needed to be. Then, all of a sudden, it just went backwards.” Mattingly went on to add a pitcher of Ryu’s caliber can’t truly be replaced.
A.J. Ellis, who was the starting catcher during Ryu’s first two seasons in the Majors, recently praised Ryu, via J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News:
Hyun-Jin’s been so consistent in his personality since the day he’s been here,” Ellis said. “Very stoic. Very professional guy who goes about his business. You never really know if anything’s bothering him or not because he’s focused, staying in the moment.”
Ellis added losing two starters is significant and specifically identified Ryu’s playoff-proven reliability as a major void left:
Losing him on top of losing Brandon earlier in the year, it’s a major blow to our club,” catcher A.J. Ellis said. “Two guys that are really, really professional pitchers. (Ryu) won big playoff games for us, pitched in big playoff games, so he’s going to be sorely missed.”
Due to the injuries to Ryu and McCarthy, the Dodgers have been obligated to make ends meet in the past few weeks, trying different ways to patch together the backend of their rotation. They’ve now settled on Mike Bolsinger and Carlos Frias, who both have turned in one strong start after another.
Nonetheless, the expectation largely holds the Dodgers will pursue starting pitching help in the coming months.
Mike Bolsinger On Pitching For The Dodgers