Categorized | Mark Timmons

Where Does Ryu Fit In?

Hyun-Jin Ryu has exceptional talent… for a Korean pitcher, but can he step into the Dodgers rotation and do a credible job?  While am pretty certain that be can be effective out of the bullpen, I am not convinced he can be a starter this season.  I see him as a pitcher who can go through the lineup once, but may have problems the second time around the lineup.  He has a great change, but his fastball lacks speed and bite.  It’s early, but if he can’t get to 93 or so with his straight fastball, he may have problems as a starter, which is why I think the Dodgers will hang on to Capuano and Lilly.  Harang is as good as gone (to the highest bidder), but Capuano and Lilly are insurance for Ryu and Billingsley.

I questioned the signing of both Ryu and Puig, but Puig has shown he has great potential.  I haven’t seen that from Ryu… yet!   Ryu has shown me he might be a solid #4 or #5 – MAYBE!  I can’t see him being better than that.  But they don’t play the game on blogs – they play it on the field and there is plenty of time for Ryu to add a few inches to his fastball.  Ryu can’t be sent to the minors without his permission, so the only way he gets sent down, is if he doesn’t want to go to the pen and wants to pitch every fifth day.  Maybe he will make the rotation, but right about now, it doesn’t look that way to me.

Players Whose Stock is Up This Spring:

  1. Dee Gordon
  2. Alex Castellanos
  3. Elian Herrera
  4. Nick Punto
  5. Luis Cruz

Players Whose Stock is Down This Spring:

  1. Juan Uribe
  2. Tony Gwynn, Jr.
  3. Jesus Flores


About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

33 Responses to “Where Does Ryu Fit In?”

  1. the truth hurts says:

    Good post Mark. Was Ryu not hitting 93 in Korea? Has his velocity declined? He is only 25. I need to do my research on this guy. I was hoping he would be our #3. I guess like you said, he still can. Also, as we all know you can’t put much stock into spring training. Just wishful thinking on my part, and we know how those “wishes” turn out most of the time.

  2. Joseph Olivas says:

    good post

  3. Badger says:

    He fits in the starting rotation. His scouting report says he has 4 pitches and can spot every one of them.

    “Ryu has four average to above-average pitches, includes a 86-93 mph fastball with late life that he can add and subtract from when needed, a slow curve (75 mph), a tighter slider and a changeup. Already extensively tested in international play, Ryu’s biggest asset is his feel for pitching. Scouts have said that he would be a first-round pick if he was in the U.S., and would likely need only a brief period of acclimation before stepping into a big league rotation.”

    That’s from a couple years ago. He is a pitcher, he will get guys out. I got him at 180+ innings, 3.75 ERA….. on this team – 11 wins.

    If Ryu isn’t in your rotation – who is?

  4. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    The point is that it’s SPRING TRAINING. Let me say it again, it’s SPRING TRAINING. To make judgments on a pitcher you haven’t seen based on his early spring training performance is, quite frankly, nuts. I don’t know how good Ryu is. Maybe he’ll be a bust, and maybe not. There’s that word again, MAYBE.

    And really, he probably doesn’t have to throw very hard to be effective, as long as he has other quality pitches. I mentioned John Tudor in the last thread. He didn’t throw very hard (less than 90, if memory serves), but he was extremely successful due to an exceptional change. Ryu’s change is reputed to be exceptional. And he has the curve and slider as well.

    Ryu’s a pitcher, not a flamethrower. I suggest everyone just sit back, watch what develops, and don’t start forming a serious opinion until you’ve seen him pitch for a month or two, during the regular season. I just have this funny feeling that the Dodger scouts know what they’re doing, and that while Ryu may have been overpaid, he’s probably at the very least, a competent middle of the rotation guy, and possibly more than that.

    And Mark, you put it best when you said “But they don’t play the game on blogs – they play it on the field and there is plenty of time for Ryu to add a few inches to his fastball.” Not only is there time for Ryu to add a few inches to his fastball, but there’s also time for him to get a better feel for his breaking stuff, change, etc. That’s what spring training is about. And let’s not forget that the baseball in the U.S. is different than the one they use in Korea. Maybe Ryu needs some more time to get accustomed to it. And maybe he never will.

    But let me repeat, it’s SPRING TRAINING, a time when they play PRACTICE GAMES. Maybe Ryu has a problem motivating himself for practice games. I love Dee Gordon, and I’m glad he’s off to a good start this spring. But I recognize that what he’s doing may not carry into the regular season. I have confidence it will, but really, I’m just hoping it will. For the same reason, I’m not certain that Puig is ready, although I think he could be advanced beyond his years.

    Bottom line, IT’S EARLY. VERY EARLY. Not enough information to form any lasting opinions.

    • Quasimodo says:

      I know I’m not any good judging a pitchers stuff viewing by webcast. Even with a TV I can’t claim to be any good. I have to depend on Vin to tell me which pitch was thrown and often I don’t agree. A pitcher like Jansen its easy judge viewing through a TV without looking at his ERA. Excuse me, I haven’t slept in the last 30 hrs and just pounded some brandy to be able to so.

  5. AnewBlueDay / Roger Dodger says:

    Mark, by your measure — of Spring Training thus far — Kershaw is either sent to the pen or to AAA. He ain’t impressive.

  6. Kris says:

    Uribe’s stock can’t be lower – he was at rock bottom last year. He no longer has stock – he’s been delisted.

  7. Rob says:

    The way Beckett looks he is our #3 pitcher with Bills and Ryu trying for the #4 and #5 spot

  8. Badger says:

    Not sure why anyone would question Ryu at this point, but I suppose it gives us another topic besides Dee.

    I compare Ryu to a guy like Randy Wolf. Wolf hasn’t thrown the ball over about 89 for a while and yet there he is, eating up innings providing a valuable service in anyone’s starting rotation for several years. He knows how to get people out. I think it’s quite possible Ryu is as good, or maybe even better. The fact that he isn’t throwing the ball over 90 on March 10 means squadush to me. By all accounts, he is smart and he has spot on control with 4 pitches.

    Uribe doesn’t figure on this 25 man squad. Hope not anyway. He had his chance. He cashed all those checks and never provided what he was paid to do. Time to move on from Juan Uribe.

    Interesting point being made today – the Dodgers are basically stuck with Harang, Capuano and Lilly because they cannot be sent to the minors. Teams will wait until the Dodgers are forced to move them, creating less leverage. eh, I don’t know about that. When it comes time to do it, there will be more than one team in need of a #3-5 pitcher and whoever is deemed the most valuable of those three will create some bidding interest. There should be some moves that could be made by the Dodgers too. Maybe Lilly could start the year on the DL or something. Maybe Harang can start the year in the pen. Capuano? How about a 6 man rotation to start the year? I still think teams will offer decent packages for all of them.

  9. AnewBlueDay / Roger Dodger says:

    Interesting Badger on Dodger starters.

    I like Capuano more than Harang. Cap seems to be in less trouble on the mound, than Har when they pitch.

    I feel in my gut that there will be an injury or careful go, with one of the Dodger starters. Could be Clayton, could be C-Bills, could be Ryn even (maybe that is why is fast ball is a bit slow).

    But also, Lilly has not been Lilly in some time.

    If the Dodgers had trades for both Capuano and Harang — and need one or two starters because of injury — is there a minor leaguer that could come up and start with something in the tank?

    I guess there is: Fife and and and and . . . who? Most of those other guys on the 40 man roster are relievers.

    Chris Withrow is a starter. Has started 85 games in the minors and completed 2. Minor league ERA is almost 5.

    Some how, one of Capuano or Harang probably will stick and be in the pen, till needed. Or else some kind of trade with 5 or six bodies switching teams, of which one is a starter from another team that the Dodgers could send down and use when needed.

    • Badger says:

      That’s kinda how I read it Roger. You can never really have too much good pitching, but I suppose you can have too much mediocre pitching. Harang and Capuano have value to lengthen a starting rotation. Lilly is an unknown, but certainly might be strong enough to spot start. What teams will be looking for is that 180 inning back of the rotation starter. Which one of those guys is the most valuable in that respect? And, if so, should we hang on to them.

      Harang will be 35 in May, and has the last two years thrown 170 innings of about 3.7 ERA. Pretty good back end rotation guy. He is projected to do the same this year. Capuano is about the same age, is always in great shape and projected have a few more innings of about the same ERA. Ted Lilly is anyone’s guess, but is not projected to throw anywhere near what the other guys are. He is, right now, the least valuable of the three. Not sure what the Dodgers can do with him as far as moves are concerned, but if he is healthy he is valuable.

      It’s my guess Capuano will generate more interest. I have no idea how the Dodgers management feels about any of this. Maybe Mark can call his “guy” and find out.

      We do need to develop more starters in our system. Maybe with a move of one of these guys, we can get more starter depth for the system.

  10. Idahoal says:

    I agree with you Badger. The Dodgers know what they have in Ryu. He has four pitches and can spot all four. Ryu has to adjust to American baseball. He needs to listen to his catcher. The other day he shuck off Ellis three times before Ellis called for a pitch Ryu had not thrown. The hitter homered. That should of been a good lesson for Ryu.

    I do not understand the concern everybody has for Billingsly. I know he was hurt last year. However, he says he is fine, and I have to go with what he says. He was our number two pitcher last year and looked good before the injury. Now it seems like he is fighting for a position. These are the five starters if everything goes the way it should. The are: Billingsly, Kershaw, Ryu, Greinke, and Beckett (not in any order).

    Thanks Mark for keeping us involved.

  11. jerry says:

    bills ..has been a 6 inning pitcher his whole career, he has one or two really good outing in a season.., most of the time you can see if he is in trouble ..then need to pull him..every time you can predict what will happen before it happen.s

    • Badger says:

      You’re right jerry. And this is a year I would gladly accept 6 IP per start. What is more important is the number of starts. I hope he can get 30+. If he can do that, our starting staff should be in good shape.

  12. Idahoal says:

    I do agree with what you said about Billingsly. I have also been frustrated with him. However, before he got hurt, he was pitching very well. I hope he learned from that experience. I agree with Badger, if can get 6+ innings out of him, that would be great.

  13. Quasimodo says:

    Billingsly was the best pitcher Dodgers had for his last 6 games last year. Seemed after Allstar break when he got in a little trouble he challenged batters with more aggression. He was his own enemy before when 2 runners got on base and didn’t believed in himself. If Bills takes it where he left off and avoids injury I believe this’ll be his best year.-But then again, that is not a lot different than I’ve felt for the last few years.

  14. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    If Billingsley can give us 30+ starts of 6+ innings, that will be a bonus. He says he feels fine, and he probably does. But that doesn’t mean that everything won’t change with one pitch. But then again, that can be said about any pitcher.

    I would prefer to trade Harang vs. Capuano. I think Capuano could have some value as lefty specialist out of the pen, and as an occasional long man. I seriously doubt if the Dodgers expect to get much for either of them, and would just be happy to clear some salary. Lilly, it would appear, would be very hard to trade. And doing so would likely require the Dodgers to pick up the lions share of what I believe is his $13 million salary this year.

    Probably will be some time before anything (if anything) happens. Now that I said that, there will probably be a deal tomorrow. Other than Fife who had some success last year, I’m not sure of anyone in the Dodgers system who’s ready to step into the rotation. Maybe Onelki Garcia makes sudden progress, or perhaps Matt McGill will emerge. Probably not Zach Lee, and I’m guessing that the Dodgers will not want to move Withrow out of the pen. Or maybe, if a trade is made, it’s a package of players that brings back a solid starter from elsewhere.

  15. Rob says:

    OMG, Uribe hit a three run shot! I hate him.

  16. AnewBlueDay / Roger Dodger says:

    Been watching quite of bit of the Baseball World Classic (or whatever they call it).

    The Canada vs. USA game is a good one. Now in the 9th with the USA winning 5-4.

    Saw the fight yesterday.

    This event is becoming bigger and bigger.

  17. AnewBlueDay / Roger Dodger says:

    In the 9th inning of the WBC game — the announcer, I believe Kaat — said something like — the stats say that Kimbrel had 116 strikeout in only 62 innings. That has to be a misprint.

    He retired from announcing in 2006, but came back to work for the MLB Network and this series.

    But Kaat must not follow closely NL baseball, because we know that Kimbrel gets those Ks.

  18. Bobby says:

    I think Ryu will be just fine. He doesn’t have the pressure that Greinke does of trying to be Kershaw’s #2 man.

    Ryu can be our 4, and learn how the bigs work. Plus with our potent offense, he should have decent enough run support backing him up.

    I’ll wait to really judge him until June, when he’s had 10 starts

    My lord, it’s only March 10?? Another 3 weeks till opening day?? This seems like the longest spring ever

  19. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Those stats regarding Kimbrel were no misprint. Averaged 16.7 K/9.

    Better, I believe, than Kenley Jansen had in 2011. Although Jansen did it as a rookie.

    This is a long spring. Thank the WBC.

    • Broxton's Bunny Soul says:

      So do we stop taking seriously every time Mark says he’s too busy to keep up this blog and he’s quitting and selling the domain name?

      It’s a really nice blog, but if you’re going to quit…. you shouldn’t announce it…. then come back two days later with a new blog.

      Just don’t say anything and leave

      By the way, it was nice to see Clayton and Kemp have solid afternoons. Everytime Uribe does something good…. I’m scared he’s going to make the team. He seems like fool’s gold whenever he does well and reality when he doesn’t

      • Mark_Timmons says:

        I really want to go. I am just spending 10-15 minutes every other day because I have no time and very little passion. I am only doing this so that people can have a place to post but if you want me gone, I am so outta here. Say the word!

        • Quasimodo says:

          Don’t let any just one say that word, Mark. I’m certain all of us enjoy whatever you give to us here. I again I say thanks and hope you continue.

        • Broxton's Bunny Soul says:

          It makes no difference to me. If you want to leave, that should be your decision. Don’t stick around out of obligation to the people on here. This isn’t the only Dodgers blog… and I suppose anyone on here could start a new dodger blog or take over this one if you decide to leave for good.

          Do what you’re passionate about. If this isn’t it… don’t do it. Really that simple

        • Josh says:

          Ill come by if it gets updated, but will stop if it doesn’t. Pretty simple. It’s just one of the six I visit daily

  20. Beckett_rockett says:

    if the Dodgers was sold to guggenheim one year earlier, they might get Yu Darvish, Cespedes, Aaron Hill, Kuroda, Prince Fielder, Jose Reyes.
    I know there is no “if”, but When comparing Ryu to Yu, I feel sorry for the timing, FA talent pool, the chance of improving.

  21. Ken says:

    Maybe… The LAD should try to have a 7 pitcher rotation with Bills and Lilly starting the year with 5 inning maximums and have Capuano and Ryu pitch innings 6-9. Yea must of us did not like the Rockies pitch limits last year but this would be a tactic to both see if Bills and Lilly are reall healthy and still stretch out Capuano and Ryu. And hopefully 3 days a week where the bullpen gets a rest.

  22. Brooklyn Dodger says:


    Stay around Mark. If anyone wants you outta here, then probably most of us want that person outta here.


  1. [...] Where Does Ryu Fit In? Hyun-Jin Ryu has exceptional talent… for a Korean pitcher, but can he step into the Dodgers rotation and do a credible job?  While am pretty certain that be can be effective out of the bullpen, I am not convinced he can be a starter this season.  I see him as a pitcher who can go [...]… [...]

  2. [...] action for the first time since suffering their serious injuries last season. Both more… Where Does Ryu Fit In? – 03/10/2013 Hyun-Jin Ryu has exceptional talent… for a Korean [...]

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