LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers’ dilemma of getting their six-man rotation down to five worked itself out on Monday, as baseball often does. Hyun-jin Ryu was placed on the 10-day disabled list with what manager Dave Roberts called a glute strain.
Ryu suffered the injury while sliding into second base in Sunday’s win over the Phillies.
“Right now with us, and obviously with the starters, we don’t want to put him in harm’s way at all,” Roberts said. “Hopefully he’ll just miss one start.”
With the off day Thursday, Ryu could technically miss just one start if he is on the DL for the minimum 10 days.
Ryu has shown improvement as the season progressed, after allowing six home runs in his first three starts. He struck out nine on Sunday in his first win since 2014. He was part of a strong starting staff that put up a 2.14 ERA last week.
Technically, the Dodgers listed the injury as a left hip contusion. But in reality, it is an opportunity to use the disabled list as a roster management tool, an opportunity to provide some rest for a pitcher who made one major league start in the previous two seasons combined.
“With Ryu and mapping things out, it’s making sure guys get ample rest,” Roberts said.
Expect this to continue throughout the season for the Dodgers, who don’t really have a workhorse outside of Clayton Kershaw on the staff. Brandon McCarthy pitched 63 innings combined in 2015-16, Alex Wood missed three months with elbow issues last season, and Rich Hill’s 110⅓ innings last year were his most since 2007.
There will be rest built in, with an eye toward being fully healthy and strong in September and October.
“With Alex, with Brandon, with Ryu, these guys if you look at the last couple of years, there’s been a small body of work. So to expect these guys to go out there and throw 200 innings, it’s not realistic. It’s not going to happen,” Roberts said. “Rich Hill is another one. So if there is a little glute strain, and you can use that 10-day to give him a blow, that’s great.”
With Ryu now on the shelf, Roberts said the weekend rotation for the Dodgers in San Diego will be Kenta Maeda on Friday, McCarthy on Saturday, and Kershaw on Sunday.
Taking Ryu’s roster spot is Josh Fields, who was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City just two days after getting optioned. Roberts was asked if Fields even left Los Angeles yet after getting optioned on Saturday.
“He walked, and then we reached him and told him to Uber back here,” Roberts joked.