Hyun-jin Ryu injury: Dodgers LHP has back stiffness, won't start Friday vs. Reds

USA TODAY Sports

Chris Capuano will start in place of Ryu for the Dodgers on Friday night in Cincinnati. The earliest that Ryu will start again is Tuesday against the Diamondbacks.

Hyun-jin Ryu will not make his scheduled start for the Dodgers on Friday in Cincinnati against the Reds, the team announced on Wednesday. The left-hander has mild stiffness in his back, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.

The Dodgers will still send a left-handed pitcher to the mound in the series opener against Cincinnati, which features left-handed hitters Joey Votto, Shin-Soo Choo and Jay Bruce. Chris Capuano starts Friday in place of Ryu, with the remainder of the series (Zack Greinke on Saturday, Clayton Kershaw on Sunday) remaining the same.

Ricky Nolaso will start Monday's series opener back at home against the Diamondbacks, per Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, which means the earliest Ryu would start is Tuesday.

Ryu is 13-5 with a 3.02 ERA in 26 starts in his first season with the Dodgers, with 139 strikeouts and 46 walks in 167 innings. Though Ryu reportedly felt stiffness in his back after his Friday start against the Padres it didn't show on the mound, as he allowed one run on eight hits in 6⅓ innings, with six strikeouts and a walk for his 13th win of the season.

Ryu has a 3.30 ERA in 12 starts on four days rest this season, and a 2.77 ERA in 14 starts with extra rest.

This is where expanded rosters and the Dodgers' huge divisional lead — 13 games over the Diamondbacks entering Thursday night's game — become a factor. The Dodgers have the luxury of getting their players rest down the stretch, in hopes of getting everyone at full strength in October.

Volquez is pitching on Wednesday essentially as the sixth starter to give the other members of the rotation extra rest, but with a good performance and, depending on Ryu's back, Volquez could end up making more than the couple of starts that were planned.

In other words, the Dodgers' starting rotation is a fluid situation right now and I wouldn't advise anyone to purchase tickets well in advance in the hopes of seeing a specific pitcher. Unless you want to see Kenley Jansen. He'll probably close out a win no matter the date you pick.

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