While it started off rough, he ended up throwing a gem (by spring training standards).
Ryu gave up a run on three hits in the first inning, with little help from his defense. Luckily for Ryu, Adrian Gonzalez hit a 3-run home run in the first inning, and the Dodgers were off.
Ryu ended up throwing 5 2/3 innings, allowed three hits, one run, two walks and struck out six Brewers. He retired the last 11 hitters he faced on St. Patrick's Day (hence the ridiculous green jerseys).
- Scouting reports have varied on Ryu and what I saw in spring training is just that -- spring training. But he showed at least one plus offering, an average offering, an offering that could be average soon and a below-average offering.
- The scouting reports about Ryu have not been consistent. Some said he throws in the 87-92 MPH range, others said 92-94 MPH. On this day, Ryu was in the 88-90 MPH range with his fastball. He had just a little arm-side run (as all lefties do) and was able to locate it well enough. Hopefully for him and the Dodgers, he can increase his velocity going forward. Average
- This is absolutely his best pitch. The pitch dives away from right-handers, prompting a lot of swings and misses. He can change speeds on it. He threw it in the 78-81 MPH range, which is about right for his fastball velocity. The changeup will be the pitch he will be known for in his career -- and that necessarily isn't a bad thing. Plus
- Ryu worked with Sandy Koufax early in camp on the pitch and it might be developing into his third-best offering. He can throw it at different speeds -- anywhere from 71-78 MPH. It still needs work, but it could be a nice weapon against left-handed hitters if he can be consistent with it. Average soon
- His slider, like most lefties, can be effective against both types of hitters. As of now, it's not a pitch he can go to with the utmost confidence. It's a pitch that sits in the upper-70s and can touch the low-80s. But the fact he throws four pitches at this point in his career is encouraging. The slider doesn't have the greatest tilt and depth to it, but he shouldn't ditch it just yet. Below-average
His delivery isn't picturesque, but it works for him and shouldn't lead to many injury issues down the road. His frame is such that he should be able to handle a heavy (I swear, no pun intended) workload, but we'll see how he handles his first season in the majors.
When Ryu hit the market, everyone knew he wasn't an ace. People knew he wasn't a No. 2 starter. But with work and his potentially good four-pitch mix, he could be a No. 3 starter at his peak. If not, he'll likely be an inning-eating (again, no pun intended) back-of-the-rotation starter -- a pitcher who has value in baseball.
With Chad Billingsley not certain to make it through the season, Chris Capuano, Aaron Harang, and Ted Lilly's spring struggles and Zack Greinke's elbow (though, he should be OK), Ryu might be the most durable Dodger pitcher this side of Clayton Kershaw.
Photo credits: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue