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.