Hyun-Jin Ryu is in the midst of one of the best seasons ever for a Dodger pitcher. Even with the recent struggles, Ryu remains in serious contention for the NL Cy Young Award this season.
According to a recent column by Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times, Ryu remains confident in his ability down the stretch.
Hyun-Jin Ryu insists he isn't tired, but Dodgers may make changes anyway https://t.co/WmI2xWBwRp
— L.A. Times Sports (@latimessports) August 27, 2019
Identifying Recent Struggles
For some context, Ryu has allowed 11 earned runs in his last two starts across 10 innings. His ERA has ‘risen’ to 2.00, which is a simple testament to just how insane he has been on the mound this year. Before his last two starts, his ERA sat at a disgusting 1.45 and his FIP at a healthy 2.85. He has quite frankly been the best pitcher on the team by a decent margin and has also been one of the best pitchers in all of baseball.
His continual confidence in his own ability to pitch well down the stretch is encouraging, regardless of the organizational plans to limit his workload. For reference, Ryu sits at 152 2/3 innings pitched on the season, something he has only topped once — in 2013. Ryu’s tenure in Los Angeles has largely been marked by the injury bug, with this year and 2013 being the only seasons he has been fully healthy. At 32, Ryu is making a remarkable career comeback that most people simply did not see coming heading into the 2018 season.
When asked about his recent struggles and what he saw as the future outlook, Ryu sounded encouraged:
“I’m actually really optimistic about my future just because I wasn’t satisfied with how I pitched. If I’m giving up that many runs and hits and I think I’m performing well, that’s one thing. But in those two cases I definitely wasn’t commanding my pitches well and it’s definitely not how i wanted to pitch. So I’m really more focused on internally how I can improve, in terms of commanding my pitches, rather than looking at something on the outside.”
Ryu has credited the training staff of the organization with his ability to maintain his health for the first time in six seasons:
“To be completely honest, this year has been really good in terms of conditioning and my health. Just by the feel of things, I feel really good.”
Encouraging words from possibly the next great Dodgers ace to win the prestigious Cy Young Award.
We don’t need Ryu now, we need him later. Let’s hope the Dodgers embrace a similar philosophy in their handling of the 32-year-old southpaw.