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Who Will Replace Ryu in the Dodgers’ Rotation?

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 02: Hyun-Jin Ryu #99 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts during the sixth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium on April 02, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)

Hyun-jin Ryu has been one of the best pitchers in the Dodgers’ rotation since the start of last year. Unfortunately, he has also missed plenty of time over the course of his career in Los Angeles. He will add to that time missed as of Monday evening, after he departed his start early with a groin strain.

The worst part about Ryu being injured is not knowing. It’s unclear how long he will be out as of right now, but it could be a while. The injury was first reported as precautionary, but he was immediately put onto the Injured List after Monday’s loss. With that uncertainty in mind, let’s dive into the options.

The Most Likely

Clayton Kershaw is just one rehab start away from returning to the ball club, and that could change. The team could opt to hold him out of his Tuesday start in the minor leagues and bring him up right away. Alternatively, he could still start tonight and then start Sunday in Los Angeles for the big league club and fill out the rotation as well. Dave Roberts would just need someone to make a spot start to keep everyone on normal rest.


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When Kershaw does return, the rotation would consist of the following: Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Kenta Maeda, Ross Stripling, and Julio Urias. Urias was supposed to make his return to the bullpen, but Ryu’s injury could easily change that. The team could opt to keep him in the rotation until Rich Hill returns from his knee injury.

The Most Fun Option

One of the most fun options any of us could imagine is bringing up a talent that cruised through Spring Training. Dustin May lit up the radar gun as well as everyone’s eyes in his limited nine innings of work. He allowed one run to come across and struck out eight, but his maturity is what stood out most. The 21-year-old worked through some tough spots when he was brought into games, and came through every time.

Unfortunately, there are a few obstacles to getting May to the big leagues this week. First and foremost, he is not on the 40-man roster. This means that in order to bring him up, someone on the roster would have to be cut loose. The way things have gone lately, I am sure fans would not mind risking the loss of Brock Stewart in order to get May, but that move still seems unlikely. May has also never pitched above the Double-A level, which does not make things impossible, just unlikely.

The Least Likely

Stop trying to make Dallas Keuchel happen, it’s not going to happen.

Outlook

The good news is that the Dodgers are so stacked from top to bottom with their starting rotation that they can survive this. It doesn’t matter if Ryu misses two weeks or two months, the Dodgers can get by without him. Of course, we would much rather have him throwing every fifth day, but try to stay positive.

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

8 Comments

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  1. I believe it should be Clayton. Ryu’s next slot would work out well. And we could keep Urias in the rotation the next 2 times. Sounds like Hill’s time frame. Too bad about Ryu. He is a tough cookie. I recall more than once where he has had nothing. And given up 9 hits in 5 innings. And only given up 2 runs. Tough as nails. Get well soon, Hyn-Jin!

  2. I’m Not holding my breadth when it comes to Kershaw He is not the same pitcher Before his recurring injuries, back(2x), arm, etc. Honestly, Is there any starter on the Dodgers(Hill,Urias, Buehler,Ryu) that doesn’t have a health concern? Last year they brought up Dennis Santana, he was hurt and shut-down for 2018! The Dodgers pitchers are a M.A.S.H unit, lol!

  3. Are you forgetting about Santana? They’ve already called him up and he pitched well for 2+ innings in Colorado. And he’s already been stretched out as a starter.

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