When fans of the Dodgers learned that Hyun-Jin Ryu‘s early exit from Monday’s opener against the Cardinals was due to a groin injury, many of them flashed back to last spring when the lefty missed more than three months of the season.
Obviously, it’s still unknown the severity of the injury. Ryu himself said after the game that it’s nowhere near as bad as last season, but until test results come in, there’s still plenty of concern.
“It was different from the pain I felt last year,” Ryu told Bill Plunkett of the OC Register. “It was more of a precautionary measure to come out of the game. Compared to the groin injury I had last year, I feel much better.”
Some fans hypothesized that the team would conceivably forego Clayton Kershaw‘s second rehab start on Tuesday at Tulsa, instead jettisoning the ace to St. Louis where he could fill the rotation gap. However, manager Dave Roberts quickly put those notions to rest.
Nevertheless, Roberts said that Ryu will indeed be placed on the injured list. The skipper added that it will likely be a reliever who takes Ryu’s spot on the 25-man roster.
In theory, it could be Brock Stewart, who under normal circumstances couldn’t rejoin the team until the mandatory 10 days passes, but because of Ryu’s injury, that window is void. Still, with righty Dennis Santana entrenched as the club’s long man, the club could opt to add a more dependable arm like JT Chargois, Jaime Schultz or Adam McCreery.
The corresponding roster move will likely occur in the hours before the second game of the St. Louis series on Tuesday.
Perhaps more importantly, Ryu’s injury basically assures that Julio Urias will remain in the rotation for the foreseeable future. Initially, it was believed that Urias would be the odd man out once Kershaw returned, but Urias will stay cemented in the starting five, at least until veteran southpaw Rich Hill is ready to return to the big league squad.
Ryu’s next turn in the rotation would have been Saturday in Milwaukee, but it’s unclear how the team will approach that particular game from a starting pitching perspective. Over the years, the management team of the Dodgers has shown they’re not afraid to employ a bullpen game in such circumstances.
More information regarding all the injury fallout will certainly follow on Tuesday afternoon.
In the meantime, if the Dodgers decide to set up a series of relievers for Saturday’s game against the Brewers, their offense might be able to keep them in the game, so long as Roberts doesn’t call on righty Joe Kelly to throw multiple innings.