Hyun-Jin Ryu has allowed two hits with runners in scoring position at Dodger Stadium in 2019. What’s more, he’s thrown that many bullpens since April. Indeed, Ryu goes about his business between starts with a unique routine that may have others taking pieces from soon.
Furthermore, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times has a story about Ryu’s unique workload on the four days in between ‘Ryu Day’. Certainly, it’s interesting to learn that not all big league aces arrive at their success in the same fashion.
Hyun-Jin Ryu hasn't thrown a bullpen session since April.
He also has the lowest ERA in the majors. https://t.co/yp9c0xzxUg
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) May 30, 2019
Now before we get into the money quotes – let’s do a brief summary of what Ryu’s workload is like between starts.
Hyun-Jin Ryu Between Starts:
- The Korean Monster tinkers with grips of his five pitches (by playing catch) depending upon how the pitch feels during his previous start.
- Ryu skips bullpen sessions in between his starts for rest and recovery.
- He does low-impact cardio to strengthen his groin.
- Ryu strengthens his upper-body on the third day between starts.
- The day before a start is spent studying the opponent.
Whatever Ryu is doing is clearly working to the tune of an 8-1 record, 1.48 ERA (leads NL), and 69 strikeouts to five walks. While a guy is in this type of hot streak, you just want to keep him in his element; don’t change a thing.
Lastly, Ryu’s preparation of knowing his opponent is meticulous and important. Therefore- thanks is owed to mastermind of a pitching-coach Ricky Honeycutt – who asked Ryu to hone in on this part of his craft.
“I challenged him to be a little more proactive in preparation,” Honeycutt said. “I said, ‘You’ve got great feel at reading swings. But you’ll be even better if you actually know where this guy’s biggest weaknesses are.’”
This is an excellent read on a player that we should be soaking up every word of right now. For as wonderful as Cody Bellinger has been in 2019, what Ryu is doing is equally as dominant and integral to the Dodgers’ 2019 success.
It’s not far-fetched that Ryu has a run for a few years here as the game’s most dominant starter. Pitchers are different then hitters, in that they sometimes tap into something special in their early-30’s and use that to springboard the best years on the back of their baseball card.
Quite possibly, Ryu’s routine is that element that is making everything tick perfectly.