Hyun-jin Ryu and the search for normalcy

Rob Tringali

Ryu will follow Zack Greinke on the mound on Sunday against the White Sox.

The Dodgers look for their first run and first win of spring training on Sunday, but the focus at the start of their game against the White Sox will be on run prevention. Both Zack Greinke and Hyun-jin Ryu will make their Dodgers debuts against Chicago.

Greinke is scheduled to pitch two innings, and will be followed by Ryu. The plan earlier in the week was to have Ryu only pitch one inning on Sunday, but manager Don Mattingly said that might change.

"We wanted to help (Ryu) bounce back, depending on how his 'pens were going," Mattingly said. "It may just be a number of pitches. If he has an easy inning we may go two, but we'll see."

The five-day rotation is something Ryu will need to adjust to, but it's just a number of adjustments coming over to a new league and a new country, including culturally. But so far Ryu has handled the adjustments and the pressure well. Mattingly said that he doesn't expect Ryu to be nervous in his first competitive game as a major leaguer.

"He's been in a professional atmosphere," Mattingly said. "You don't get the feeling that he'll be overwhelmed. Maybe it will look like that or he'll feel that, but you don't see it."

With over 20 reporters and cameramen following him around for the first part of camp, Ryu is used to the attention. Mattingly said even with the extra coverage Ryu has had a relatively normal spring to date.

"He's a guy that hasn't come up in any way, like giving him extra time or doing anything different. He has been on schedule, there have been no problems," Mattingly said. "He really has been, for as much as he can be with the attention he gets, just a guy in camp doing his work, getting on schedule and into his routine, without any issues."

Notes

  • The winds were heavy, gusting, and cold on Sunday morning at Cameback Ranch, so look for home runs and potential adventures on balls hit in the air. "Wind is tough to play in, so it could be a little bit of a circus atmosphere," Mattingly said.
  • Mattingly said though he'll try to get his World Baseball Classic players (Luis Cruz, Adrian Gonzalez, and Hanley Ramirez) three plate appearances on Sunday, he won't have them play seven innings, as Cruz and Gonzalez did on Saturday. Mattingly said he might let them play six innings on Sunday. "Adrian wanted three and maybe four (at-bats), Cruzer will do whatever Adrian does," Mattingly said.
  • With both Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp currently out, Mattingly said he had a bit of a shortage of outfielders for spring games. He said he might give some time in the outfield to Nick Evans and Brian Barden, both non-roster infielders trying to make the team.
  • There are a pair of right-handed pitchers from the minor league side of camp in uniform for the Dodgers on Sunday. Blake Johnson, who was drafted by the Dodgers in the second round in 2004 but traded to Kansas City in 2006 in the Elmer Dessens deal, is back with the Dodgers on a minor league deal. Johnson, who will be 28 in June, is wearing No. 82. Angel Castro, 30, who spent 2012 playing in Japan, will wear No. 88.
  • The Dodgers have five split squad days in Arizona, including three days with two games at the same time. I asked Mattingly if bench coach Trey Hillman would manage one of the games on those days, but Mattingly said Hillman would likely remain with him, and Triple-A manager Lorenzo Bundy will manage the other squad. The first such occasion is Friday, when the Dodgers host the Padres at Camelback Ranch and travel to Tempe to battle the Angels, both at noon PT. Mattingly pulled rank when asked which game he would take, opting not to travel.

    "I think I'd like to stay here for that," Mattingly said with a wry smile. "I really would like to see San Diego."
  • Jarret Martin, 23, who was 4-6 with a 4.65 ERA in 18 starts with Class-A Great Lakes and Class-A Rancho Cucamonga last season, was the latest minor league pitcher to throw a bullpen session with instruction from Sandy Koufax. Other minor leaguers this week who have thrown with Koufax's tutelage have been Chris Reed, Zach Lee, and Angel Sanchez.
  • MLB Network will be at Camelback Ranch on Monday to interview various Dodgers for their "30 Clubs in 30 Days" tour. Eric Byrnes will be on hand to conduct various interviews and presumably dive for no reason. General manager Ned Colletti will be interviewed live on MLB Network at 9:30 a.m. PT.
  • Also scheduled to pitch on Sunday for the White Sox, behind Johnson, are (LHP) Scott Snodgress, (LHP) Daniel Moskos, (LHP) David Purcey, Jhan Martinez, Jacob Petricka, and old friend Ramon Troncoso.
  • Suited up from the minor league side for Chicago are two right-handed pitchers: Matt Zaleski (No. 88) and Ryan Kussmaul (No. 89).

Time: 12:05 p.m. PT

TV: none

Radio: KTNQ 1020 (Spanish); MLB.com (White Sox broadcast)

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