The only way left for the Los Angeles Dodgers pitching staff to go is up. They just got their first sign of promise towards one of their prominent starters having a healthy upcoming season. Hyun-Jin Ryu has not been playing full-time for the Dodgers in his past few seasons.
That could be changing in the Dodgers 2017 campaign. In his past pair of seasons he has battled injury. That included missing the entire 2015 season after battling shoulder problems. He did have surgery to repair his shoulder, but he did not return until July of last season and his first surgery did not due the job. Ryu and the Los Angeles Dodgers may be hoping bad health is a matter of the past, after he had his second shoulder surgery in September, according to CBS Sports.
There is good news on Ryu’s status, and it is coming from the best source of all, Ryu himself. He said that he is ready to return. Ryu told reporters recently” Right now, I’d say I am in better shape than I normally would be at the start of spring training,”
Ryu said he even threw four bullpen sessions training in Japan. He continued to say the most relieving news the Dodgers could hear. He felt no pain while throwing. It appears in Ryu’s case, the second time may be the charm.
It has not just been injury to Ryu that has been hurtful for the Dodgers. Their pitching staff has had a hill of difficulty staying healthy. It is something they need to work on going forward.
Los Angeles has a hot line-up there has not been question over their swings. With Puig, Joc Pederson, and Adrian Gonzalez on their roster, the Dodgers may not be in a better position when it comes to offense. They have a fine blend of speed and power.
Their pitching staff could be just as good, if they can avoid injury. Inability to stay healthy has been a roadblock, but with Ryu appearing to be in better shape, it could mark a good step for the Dodgers to change that.
Kershaw has taken the Dodgers the distance. Los Angeles is not in shock of his ability to pitch, he has displayed it to them every single season. He has overcome almost any obstacle to cross his path from injury, to opponents. Kershaw has been everything the Dodgers could have asked as far as being a dependable pitcher.
He may not be the only reliable starter for Los Angeles next season. Kershaw just might be joined with Ryu. When in good health, Ryu can add immense depth to the Dodgers rotation. As of now he is heading in the correct direction towards doing that for the Dodgers in their 2017 season.
How key will Ryu be for the Los Angeles Dodgers this season? Can he avoid injury for once? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Commentary by Cody Macleod