It’s too early in the spring to be concerned with aches and pains, but the Los Angeles Dodgers have already had a few players miss workouts due to discomfort.
One of those that’s already sat out is left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who missed a workout due to tightness in his back. The third-year starter began preparing earlier than usual this year in order to be stronger for the season and throw at least 200 innings. While it may be nothing more than general soreness, the Dodgers had Ryu undergo an MRI to make sure it was nothing more serious.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the Dodgers can breathe a little easier after the results:
Ryu MRI negative, no workout.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) February 26, 2015
Ryu will miss the first official full-team workout of the year, and will be reevaluated in the coming days. The Dodgers have no reason to rush the 27-year-old, especially this early in camp. Games begin next week, but the team will surely hold out Ryu if needed.
In his two seasons since coming from the Korean Baseball Organization, Ryu has won exactly 14 games in both seasons with a combined ERA of 3.17 in 56 starts. He fell eight innings shy of 200 in 2013, and much shorter last season after missing some time with shoulder irritation. Manager Don Mattingly recently called him one of the best pitchers in the game, although he’s often overlooked in his own rotation because of the reigning Cy Young and MVP, Clayton Kershaw, and former Cy Young winner, Zack Greinke.
The Dodgers will need a healthy Ryu all season because the projected fourth and fifth starters in the rotation have plenty of injury-riddled pasts of their own. Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson have reached 200 innings just once in a combined 15 seasons.
Ryu should be fine and will likely be cleared within the next week, in time to throw once Cactus League games start.
Chris Hatcher Discusses Getting Traded To The Dodgers While Traveling Abroad