When the Los Angeles Dodgers signed Hyun-Jin Ryu last off-season, they couldn’t have hoped for a better rookie season from the left-handed starter in 2013. Injuries to Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett thrusted Ryu into the number three spot in the rotation and he delivered a 14-8 record with a 3.00 ERA.
While he seemed to wear down towards the end of the year, Ryu was a fan favorite and should come back even stronger after his first season in the big leagues. Ryu went home to South Korea and conducted an interview with GlobalPost.com about his goals for next season:
I will be entering my ninth year as a pro, and I don’t really have new goals for next year, Ryu said. First and foremost, I would like to win at least 10 games and post an ERA in the 2.00 range.
Right now, Ryu is the number three starter heading into 2014, but the Dodgers will likely be in the market to add at least another starting pitcher. With Yasiel Puig and Ryu, the Dodgers had one of their best rookie classes since the mid-90’s as both should be in the top-3 in the NL Rookie of the Year voting.
Among National League rookie pitchers, Ryu ranked first in innings pitched with 192 and second in ERA at 3.00. One part of Ryu’s regiment that he’s carried over from his time in Korea is the fact that he doesn’t throw bullpen sessions between starts.
Starters usually throw bullpen sessions a day or two prior to their start and it’s something Ryu won’t be incorporating into his routine next season:
I know I was knocked around early in the games this year, but I don’t plan to throw in the bullpen next year. I am only going to focus on recovering quickly during my four days off (between starts).
The Dodgers are banking on Ryu having a better sophomore season in the big leagues and it’s clear that he’ll be working hard at his craft during the off-season.
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