After two years on the shelf, Hyun-jin Ryu was back on the field in 2017, helping add to the Dodgers’ pitching depth.
What went right
Ryu was limited to just one start in 2015 and 2016 combined, with nearly two full years wiped out by surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder and an arthroscopic procedure on his left elbow. But he was healthy enough to make 24 starts and pitch 126⅔ innings, which was a victory in itself.
He had a 3.23 ERA in his final 14 starts of the season, including allowing two or fewer runs in 11 of 13 starts from June 17 to Sept. 23.
In his one relief appearance, Ryu pitched four scoreless innings on May 25 for a save against the Cardinals.
Ryu remains excellent at controlling the running game. Opposing runners were two for three in stolen base attempts. In his 81 career starts, Ryu has only seen nine stolen base attempts against him.
What went wrong
Ryu allowed 22 home runs in 24 starts in 2017 after allowing 24 home runs in his first 57 career starts before this year. Opposing batters hit .263/.330/.462 against him. Left-handed batters hit .326/.380/.531 against Ryu.
His walk rate of 8.3% was a career high, up from 5.5% in 2013-14.
Ryu allowed four or more runs in half of his first 10 starts, including a career-high 10 runs at Coors Field on May 11.
He had a 4.74 FIP in 2017, up from 3.00 heading into this season.
Ryu had two stints on the disabled list in 2017, including missing 3½ weeks with a left foot contusion in July.
Ryu was the odd man out in the Dodgers’ playoff rotation, and with his discomfort in pitching in relief he was left off the team’s roster for all three postseason rounds.
Stats: 5-9, 3.77 ERA, 4.74 FIP in 126⅔ innings, 45 BB, 116 K, 1 save
Salary: $7 million
Game of the year
Ryu was brilliant on Aug. 6 in New York against the Mets, retiring 21 of 22 batters faced in his seven innings, striking out eight. It was Ryu’s second straight Sunday Night Baseball start pitching seven scoreless innings.
He allowed only a third-inning single to Travis d’Arnaud, then Ryu retired his final 15 batters faced for the win.
Ryu has one season remaining on his six-year contract, and will make $7 million in 2018.