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Hyun-jin Ryu progresses at his own speed for Dodgers

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Hyun-jin Ryu pitched three innings in his second Cactus League start, allowing three runs (two earned) to the Rangers in the Dodgers' 11-11 tie in Suprise on Tuesday.

Most importantly, Ryu's back is healthy, feeling no ill effects from the back spasms that briefly sidelined him earlier in camp.

"I don't think he has had any issues with the back at all," said manager Don Mattingly. "He was really good today."

Ryu threw 46 pitches, then another 19 more in the bullpen afterward. He also made a nice play fielding a sacrifice bunt attempt up the third base line in the third inning.

"I'm not having any issues with the back anymore," Ryu said after his outing. "This time was three innings. Hopefully next time I'll be able to go four."

MLB Gameday tracked Ryu throwing 21 fastballs on Tuesday averaging 87.9 mph, topping out at 91 twice. Putting aside the fact that this was Ryu's second start of the spring, he did average 91.6 mph on his four-seam fastball in 2014 per Brooks Baseball. He downplayed the velocity difference.

"I don't think there was any reason," Ryu said. "During the regular season my velocity picks up and drops, so I'm not really worried about that."

Mattingly agreed.

"I don't ever worry about his velocities. I've seen him anywhere from 88-93, and he seems to add on when he wants to," Mattingly said. "There is no real concern about his velocity."


Tuesday was the fifth tie of spring for the Dodgers (8-2-5), matching 2006 and 2014 for most ties in one spring training since the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1958.

Austin Barnes was optioned to minor league camp on Monday afternoon, while two catches not on the 40-man roster - Shawn Zarraga and Chris O`Brien - remain in big league camp. Barnes caught 32 innings through Monday, nearly as many as A.J. Ellis (35 innings) and Yasmani Grandal (34), but only got 14 plate appearances in 10 games.

"More than anything, the timing was just the at-bats coming. We like the way he has handling  the pitching staff. He's probably caught more innings than he's had at-bats," Mattingly said. The main thing now getting ready for the season is him getting his at-bats."

Up next

The Dodgers are back home to host the Cubs at Camelback Ranch on Wednesday afternoon, with Brandon McCarthy on the mound. Jake Arrieta starts for Chicago.