After pitching only for an inning and allowing four earned runs to the San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu left his September 12 start with an irritated shoulder. On the 15th, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reported that the lefty is likely done for season. Luckily for Ryu and the Dodgers, MRI revealed no structural damage, giving hope for the team to have him back for the postseason.
Ryu, a 27-year old lefty from Korea, was having a solid 2014 season before the injury. He has a 14-7, 3.38 ERA in 152.0 innings pitched. His 2.61 FIP, believe it or not, is the second-best in the National League after another Dodger lefty, Clayton Kershaw (1.86). His 3.5 fWAR is more than that of Zack Greinke (3.4) and Cole Hamels (3.3) despite that Ryu threw 30 innings or less than either.
Despite having a rotation headlined by Kershaw and Greinke, losing Ryu leaves a dent in the Dodger rotation. It pushes Dan Haren to the number three spot. Haren has not had a bad season (13-11, 4.14 ERA in 174 innings pitched) but replacing Ryu will be a big mission, as the Dodgers lost a dependable young starter for the remainder of season. Also, Roberto Hernandez, whom the team acquired for a rotation boost, has been underwhelming (-0.3 fWAR in 7 starts).
Loss of Ryu felt heavier for the Dodgers yesterday after their 16-2 loss to the Rockies after rookie Carlos Frias failed to pitch out of the first inning. Frias, who started in place of Ryu, allowed eight earned runs and ten hits in 0.2 innings pitched. The Dodgers are currently in the first place of NL West with a 86-66 record. But they do not have a huge lead over the second-place Giants (2.0 games). The two teams have a crucial three-game series at the Dodger Stadium from the 22nd to 24th, which may turn out crucial for the outcome for the division race.