For as much notoriety as the Los Angeles Dodgers pitching staff — more specifically the top-three starters — drew for their work on the mound last season, a healthy batting competition also broke out among the group.
Zack Greinke hit .328/.409/.379 in 2013 en route to winning his first career Silver Slugger Award. That season, he led all qualifying pitchers in batting average (.328), hits (19), on-base percentage (.409) and tied for first with two stolen bases.
Greinke entered the 2014 season with bragging rights, and he again out-hit Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu. However, Kershaw’s RBI triple against the San Francisco Giants shouldn’t go unnoticed.
Of the three, Ryu performed worst at the plate last season, batting .149/.167/.191, though he did hit two doubles and collect two RBIs; granted, he was twice placed on the disabled list. Ryu hopes to pitch 200 innings this season, which would require him remaining healthy and inversely have an impact on his number of plate appearances.
Cactus League pitchers can hit for themselves beginning in Wednesday’s game, though the Dodgers aren’t expected to ditch the designated hitter for another couple of games. Nonetheless, Ryu participated in batting practice Wednesday, via J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News: