Hyun-jin Ryu throws to live hitters, gets instruction from Sandy Koufax

Eric Stephen | True Blue LA

The left-hander threw to live hitters for the first time in a Dodger uniform on Tuesday.

The second day of live batting practice took place Tuesday at Camelback Ranch, which included Zack Greinke and Hyun-jin Ryu among the pitchers. The highlight was Ryu, who threw roughly the equivalent of two innings and received instruction from Dodgers legend Sandy Koufax after the session.

Ryu faced eight different right-handed batters during his outing, which consisted of two trips to the mound of about 20 pitches each. He said he used his fastball, change up, and curve ball.

"His stuff looks like it's good. He's a little sneaky with the fastball. His changeup was really good today I thought. The breaking ball was not bad," manager Don Mattingly said. Sandy was back there figuring out his breaking ball."

Koufax showed Ryu a different grip for his curve, holding the ball deeper in his hand instead of pushing out with his thumb. Then again, Koufax did have massive hands and a do-as-I-did approach may not work for everyone.


"I haven't really experimented with it, so I can't say (if it works). It was more of a conversation," Ryu said, through an interpreter. "You always want to learn from the best, but I need to get a feel for the pitch too. Just because it worked for Sandy Koufax doesn't mean it will work for me."

Ryu said in his next bullpen session he will get more instruction from Koufax on how to throw the pitch.

Mattingly liked what he has seen of Ryu so far, and when asked for a comparable pitcher Mattingly chose David Wells.

"For the most part he can throw the ball wherever he wants, he's got command of the ball, and the ball gets out of his hand pretty good. He tries to throw the ball to both sides of the plate with the fastball. He can work off that to righties and lefties," Mattingly said. "He's definitely going to be a guy that pitches off his fastball."

Ryu is scheduled to pitch on Sunday in the Dodgers' second spring training game, against the White Sox. He will follow starter Zack Greinke, and is only scheduled to pitch one inning. Ryu was asked if he had any anxiety about his first competitive game as a Dodger.

"I'm not nervous," Ryu said. "I don't care if I get hit hard. I'm more concerned about command."

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