Spring Training Notes: Ryu gets rotation nod, Masterson inked for depth, Seager feature

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

Hyun-Jin Ryu had arguably his worst outing of his Spring Training yesterday, giving up three runs and two homers in five innings of work, but that was enough to convince Dave Roberts that the left-hander was adequately recovered from shoulder and elbow surgeries to earn a rotation spot.

“I think Ryu is throwing well, he’s built up enough and we feel confident enough that he’ll be one of the five,” Roberts said. “He’s given us no reason to not be [in the rotation]. We feel that a healthy Hyun-Jin is a good thing. We expect him to be one of our five. … Coming in, we didn’t know what to expect. We expected Kaz to be fine, but it’s just kind of gone the other way. But Ryu kept plugging away, showing he’s healthy, making starts. It just gives us the confidence that he can give us quality starts when he’s out there. Every time he takes the mound, he responds and recovers well.”

Ryu only threw 14 innings this spring, but he did only have one walk against 12 strikeouts and a 2.57 ERA. More than statistics, it was about velocity, command, and health for Ryu, and he showed improvement in all three areas.

The skeptical side of me questions whether the velocity he’s at now will be enough and whether it’s a good idea to put a guy who has essentially missed two years right back into the rotation. Because doing it this way, even if Ryu is excellent throughout the year and it’s not too much too soon, come September and October he’ll essentially have to be shut down anyway.

Regardless, that’s the decision, and now Brandon McCarthy and Alex Wood are left to fight for the last rotation spot. Common sense would dictate that it would be McCarthy then, since only Wood has a history out of the pen and has been effective in that role. While I think Ryu and McCarthy can be fine back-end options, Wood has mid-rotation potential and is arguably the best of the three, but I understand the numbers game and all that. Just sorta disappointing.

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Did you know Justin Masterson was still playing? Well he is, and the Dodgers just signed him.

Masterson was an All-Star in 2013, but from 2014-15 he posted an 5.79 ERA in 188 innings. Then in 2016 he couldn’t earn a call-up with the Pirates, and he didn’t pitch like he deserved it either, putting up a 4.85 ERA in AAA and A+ between starting and relieving with a 6.1 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9.

So why ink him, right? Because they Dodgers needed starters for AAA, basically. I wouldn’t read too much into it.

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Scott Kazmir has had his nightmare spring, and will be headed to the disabled list with an injury that can best be described as a “velocity-eating monster on his body that nobody can find”.

“As far as the potential disabled list, it’s looking like he’ll start the season on the DL,” said Roberts. “I told him we’ve got to figure this out. It’s not his arm, but we’ve got to get to the bottom of it. It’s something with the hip. We just can’t understand why there’s just no velocity. Don’t know if it’s a strength thing or what.”

They literally don’t know why he’s throwing 82-85 mph in starts.

THIS IS FINE

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Robert Sanchez of ESPN wrote a great feature on Corey Seager and how he’s driven by a fear of failure.

Definitely not alone in the realm of superstars who hate failure more than they like success.

About Chad Moriyama

Chad Moriyama

I get paid millions by the Dodgers.

MILLIONS!