Hyun-Jin Ryu: NL Cy Young Candidate?


Hyun-Jin Ryu is on a very impressive run as of late, coming off of his 31st consecutive scoreless inning last Sunday at Cincinnati. Not only is Ryu the hottest starter in the Dodgers‘ rotation at the moment, he’s also one of the most effective starting pitchers in baseball. Ryu has been consistently putting together good outings all year, and one can only imagine his numbers at the end of the season if he’s able to stay healthy.

At the beginning of of his major league career in 2013, Ryu has always shown glimpses of success similar to the way he’s currently throwing. After posting a 14-8 record and a 3.00 ERA his rookie year, the bar was set high for the native of South Korea. Subsequently, his 2014 campaign was equally impressive as he posted a 14-7 record with a 3.38 ERA despite having had several unfortunate injuries with which to deal.

After missing all of 2015 recovering from shoulder surgery, Ryu was initially scheduled to return during 2016 spring camp, but the injury never mended properly. Following numerous unsuccessful rehabilitation programs, he finally began to throw hard late in the summer and surprisingly made a big league start against the Padres on July 7, when he surrendered six runs on eight hits and two walks in 4-2/3 innings pitched.

Elbow soreness not long after his return to the mound ultimately led to an arthroscopic debridement procedure, which would eventually shut him down for the remainder of the 2016 season.

Nevertheless, he was able to make 25 starts in 2017 posting a 5-9 record with a 3.77 ERA over 126-2/3 innings pitched.

Last year could have been considered a breakout season for Ryu. Still, due to injuries—mainly the severe groin tear at the beginning of the year—the lefty started only 15 games, going 7-3 with an era of 1.97. Taking into account his potential, the Dodgers felt Ryu belonged in Los Angeles so they extended him a qualifying offer of $17.9 million. It may be a little early in the year to be talking about an extension. but I think the Dodgers should really consider a multi-year offer before the end of the season.

So far through nine starts in 2019, Ryu is 6-1 with a 1.52 ERA over 59-1/3 innings. All things considered, that’s arguably a Cy Young pace. Only Max Fried of the Braves has more victories in the National League. No other starting pitcher in baseball is remotely close to Ryu’s ERA.

Over his last five starts, the 32-year-old southpaw has gone at least seven innings, so he’s definitely someone you like to see on the hill if the Dodgers’ bullpen is overworked or struggling. Ryu undoubtedly is the best pitcher in the Los Angeles rotation at the moment and is considered by some to be the emerging ace of the entire staff. The future looks bright for Ryu, and if he’s able to stay injury-free, he could be in the running for an NL Cy Young Award while helping his squad push towards that inevitable World Championship ring.


8 thoughts on “Hyun-Jin Ryu: NL Cy Young Candidate?

  1. Pay that man. Do it now! He’s the runaway favorite for NL Cy Young as of right now and I don’t see how you could make an argument for anyone else. This is no fluke. If you won’t spend money to fix the bullpen Andy then for the love of all things good and decent pay this guy.

    1. You are persistent Alex. You still don’t believe Ryu is being paid, no matter how many times you are told. As for an extension in May? Not gonna happen.

      Ryu is “on pace” for 194 innings and 19 wins Bellinger is on pace for 55 home runs, 150 RBI’s, and over 15 WAR. None of those numbers will be reached. We all hope Ryu stays healthy and takes the ball 30 times this year. If history is prologue, he will not. The Dodgers do not need to rush into this. I would advise they do not. There is plenty of time.

  2. Ryu right now pitchingat an historically good level, no question. But 2 guestions linger. Can he stay healthy and do it for an entire year. And can he pitch to this level in the playoffs. Outside of his first start against Atlanta last year he wasn’t good in the playoffs. Sorry Alex, but if Im AF I’m waiting to sign him and he’d only get a three year deal. I know he loves the Dodgers and we’d probably get a hometown discount. If not then I’d resign Hill to a much lower 2 year deal and Urias slides into Ryu’s spot

  3. Also Alex, is it time to replace Barnes with Smith? How much more rope do you give Barnes?

    1. And for the record, I think the Dodgers are content with Barnes receiving skills and #8 in the order hitting ability. He had one outlier offensive year but I think it’s clear he will remain a .700 OPS hitter.

  4. Barnes is the catcher for the rest of the year no matter what. I’m a huge Smith fan but I’m also trying to be fair and real. Smith would not be able to eclipse what Barnes has done with the bat if thrown into the fire right now and they are both superior defenders behind the plate. You ride with Barnes and Martin since they have the experience and bring Smith up in September. Austin is in a rough patch but I know he’s a better hitter than he’s showing so I’m not freaking out.

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