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2015 Dodgers review: Hyun-jin Ryu, the lost year

Harry How/Getty Images

A look back at the 2015 season that never was for Dodgers left-hander Hyun-jin Ryu.

What went right

Ryu struck out four and walked one in his five Cactus League innings, to go along with his 3.60 spring training ERA.

In retrospect, his excellent 2013-2014 seasons look even better now that we know he pitched both seasons with a partially torn labrum in his left shoulder.

What went wrong

The years of pitching through the torn labrum caught up with Ryu this year, first shut down during spring training with shoulder issues, then eventually having arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder on May 21, shutting down his 2015 season before it ever really began.

The Dodgers say Ryu is expected to be ready to begin spring training, though expecting him to be ready to be Ryu again at the start of 2016 might be far fetched. He told reporters in Korea in early November that, though his rehabilitation has gone well to date, a May return might be more realistic.

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman before the general manager meetings in November shared the cautions optimism.

"Every check point has been incredibly optimistic, and if success were dictated by how hard he has attacked this rehab process then I'm 100-percent convinced he'll be ready by opening day," Friedman said. "But you never know, and each day, each week, each month gives us more clarity. So I don't know yet whether we can fully count on him or not."

At the very least, Ryu can supplement his income by charging tickets to the gun show.

2015 particulars

Age: 28

Stats: Did not pitch

Salary: $4.5 million

Game of the year

Ryu retired all six batters he faced, including two strikeouts, against the Padres on March 12, in the first of his two Cactus League starts. Ryu was one of eight Dodgers pitchers used in the game, including Will Ferrell.

Roster status

Ryu has three seasons and $21 million remaining on his six-year contract, spread out equally with $7 million each year from 2016-2018. Ryu can opt out after 2017 if he reaches 750 total innings by then, which means he would need to pitch 406 innings in 2016-2017 combined. His career high in innings pitched in a season is 192, set in 2013.