Ryu was already a couple weeks behind other pitchers in camp and has yet to throw any breaking pitches, so this should be one of the least surprising things of the offseason.
While it’d be nice to have a healthy Ryu sooner rather than later, taking it slow with him is the only course of action. Word is he’s targeting May as a return date, but no word whether it’s May 1 or May 31. It’s best to expect the worst in these situations, so Ryu missing the first 6-plus weeks of the season really isn’t the end of the world.
Ryu himself set goals of 30 starts and 200 innings before spring training. Now, those numbers are down to 20 and 150, respectively. I can see 20 starts, but not 150 innings. His career best in innings per start is 6.4, and he was at just 5.8 in 2014. If you take Ryu’s career IP/GS rate, and he makes 20 starts, he could give the Dodgers close to 123 innings. Even that seems a little light, considering the situation.
Who knows? Maybe he comes back stronger than ever and is able to average 7-plus innings per start. It isn’t terribly likely, but stranger things have happened.
This news bodes well for Alex Wood, who should now be firmly entrenched in the Dodgers’ rotation. His status was up in the air because of subpar performance due to a foot injury (which Daniel wrote about) after being acquired last year, he fact he has experience out of the bullpen and he neutralizes left-handed hitters quite well. Instead, Wood will get a chance to show what he can do when healthy. If his time with Atlanta is any indicator, it could end up being great for him and the Dodgers.
This is precisely why the Dodgers have so much (good) depth in the rotation. Ryu’s status was always a question mark and the loss of Zack Greinke needed to be mitigated. Having guys beyond Clayton Kershaw who have pitched well in the majors (and abroad, in the case of Kenta Maeda), as well as high-level prospects, bodes well for the team’s chances in 2016.