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Hyun-jin Ryu throws bullpen session, NLDS roster decisions loom

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Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers starter Hyun-jin Ryu threw a bullpen session on Friday night before the series opener against the Rockies. The club is still hopeful the left-hander will be able to start by Game 3 of the NLDS, but there are still steps he needs to take in order to be cleared and ready in time for an Oct. 6 return.

"It's hard to say he's lined up for anything at this moment but he's moving in the right direction," manager Don Mattingly said. "He's got a few other hurdles to cross."

Ryu threw between 25-30 pitches in his bullpen session and said he felt good afterwards. The plan is for Ryu to play catch off flat ground on Saturday, then a full blown bullpen session on Sunday.

Ryu last pitched for the Dodgers on Sept. 12, lasting only an inning before leaving with left shoulder discomfort. An MRI three days later showed no structural damage and was no different than his MRI in May, when Ryu missed over three weeks with shoulder inflammation.

If all of that goes according to plan for Ryu, he will throw a simulated game next week.

All of those things still have to be crossed off," Mattingly said. "We have to plan accordingly, with him and without him, if he can start or if he can't. All those factors are still up in the air, it that's just going to depend on what's going to happen these next few days."

Ryu's status greatly affects the Dodgers NLDS roster, which will need to be submitted before Friday's Game 1. Mattingly and his coaching staff met with general manager Ned Colletti and his staff before Friday's game, bouncing roster ideas off each other.

The Dodgers will likely carry 11 or 12 pitchers - last year, the club had 11 pitchers on the roster for both the NLDS and NLCS - with much of the discussion revolved around whether to take an extra pitcher or position player.

"The roster is definitely not decided," Mattingly said. "We're going over different scenarios. I hate to say these are tryout games, but there's definitely going to be some disappointment with guys who aren't on the roster. We have to make tough decisions. You're always competing, you're always performing."

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The Dodgers, locked in as the No. 2 seed, will use the final weekend to get rest for some regulars, but not wholesale changes to the lineup all three games. Mattingly said Adrian Gonzalez wanted to play all weekend, though he probably won't play all nine innings each game.

Hanley Ramirez will get rest, and Juan Uribe will get a day off this weekend, among others.

"For the most part, we're going to play our guys," Mattingly said. "It's pretty much the lineup for a lot of the guys that will be moving forward."

Ramirez and Matt Kemp sit on Friday night, as does catcher A.J. Ellis. Justin Turner gets the start at shortstop, batting cleanup on Friday night.

Dan Haren and Zack Greinke are scheduled to start Saturday and Sunday, respectively, but both will likely be on a pitch limit in their final starts of the season, leaving time for some scheduled bullpen outings as well.