What Happened In 2017: One of the best comeback stories of the year after missing nearly two years due to shoulder and elbow surgeries.
Shoulder surgery is no joke, and it was a miracle that Hyun-Jin Ryu was able to come back to make 24 starts and pitch 126 2/3 innings in 2017 after missing almost two seasons recovering from left shoulder labrum surgery and an arthroscopic procedure on his left elbow. Ryu also pitched one inning in relief, a scoreless four-inning appearance on May 25 against the Cardinals. He earned a save, the first of his career, for the relief duty.
Ryu had a problem with his fastball command to start off the season, but we saw some of the old Ryu at times throughout the year when his changeup and curveball were effective.
Ryu, trying to steer clear of injuries, seemed to be a magnet for comebackers. He was hit in the left leg by a ball off the bat of Miami’s Justin Bour on May 18 and was taken out of the game.
Then in June in Anaheim, Andrelton Simmons lined one off Ryu’s leg.
Another scary moment occurred on September 23 when Ryu was hit in the left arm by a Joe Panik comebacker, and he was forced to leave the game in the third inning.
Comebackers aside, Ryu did hit the disabled list twice in 2017, including missing three and a half weeks in July with a left foot contusion.
Ryu lost a chance to make the postseason rotation with some shaky outings down the stretch. His 4.20 ERA over his final four starts and the three home runs allowed in those 15 innings did not give Dave Roberts much confidence in him starting in the postseason. Thus, Ryu was left off the postseason roster completely through all three rounds from the NLDS to the World Series. He didn’t feel comfortable pitching out of the pen due to his lengthy pregame routine to ready himself to pitch after his shoulder injury, so Ryu was only able to watch from the dugout in the playoffs.
2018 Status: Ryu will make $7 million in the final year of his six-year contract. He’ll look to remain healthy and build on his solid 2017.