The Los Angeles Dodgers made a concerted effort during the offseason to bolster the depth of their pitching staff both on the active roster and throughout the Minor-League affiliates. Now six weeks into the regular season, they’ve lost two-fifths of their starting rotation.
To little surprise, the Dodgers announced Wednesday Hyun-Jin Ryu will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his ailing left shoulder. The procedure will be will be performed Thursday by Dr. Neal ElAttrache.
Ryu had maintained he would return this season as the injury had long been presented as one similar to the issue that twice forced him to the disabled list last season. He last threw a bullpen session May 1 with decreased velocity, which led to him being transferred to the 60-day disabled list and again being shut down.
Ryu won 14 games in each of his two seasons with the Dodgers, but only threw 152 innings in 2014 compared to 192 in his rookie year. He’d set a goal of pitching 200 innings this season, which grew more and more unattainable with each passing week he remained sidelined, and now can be ruled out.
Signed to a six-year deal, Ryu can opt out after the 2017 season only if he pitches at least 400 innings between now and the end of the 2017 season. Otherwise, the left-hander remains under contract through 2018.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman indicated after Brandon McCarthy’s season-ending UCL injury the club would look internally for his replacement and expand their search to the trade market come June.
Although Mike Bolsinger and Carlos Frias have managed to provide some stability to the starting rotation, Friedman may now be more inclined to now trade for a starting pitcher. He admitted Tuesday to never being comfortable with the perceived pitching depth on the roster and added the team would certainly benefit from acquiring a pitcher.
Other internal options to plug into the rotation include Brandon Beachy, who continues to make progress in his recovery from a second Tommy John surgery, and recent signee Pablo Fernandez, who the Dodgers intend to stretch out as a starter with the idea of him potentially contributing this season. A timetable for Ryu’s recovery was not yet made available.