Los Angeles thought Hyun-Jin Ryu would be ready for opening day, however the veteran starter recently had to shut down his throwing program as a result of a shoulder injury. The Dodgers have some minor league starting depth, and according to Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times, would be open to adding another starter to the back of their rotation.
Ryu informed the Dodgers he was experiencing discomfort in his throwing shoulder on Sunday, and the club sent him back to Los Angeles to be evaluated. Ryu's shoulder gave him trouble last season, as he was sidelined for three weeks twice, once in the beginning of the season and again in September, because of shoulder inflammation.
Shaikin notes Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman said the team is open to adding "more depth starting pitching, but that is no different than we have tried to get all offseason." Cole Hamels, who could be traded before the start of the regular season, is not a likely candidate to be added to the Dodgers' rotation because the club is not seeking a top of the rotation arm.
While the organization will likely explore possible options available through a trade, Joe Wieland could be an internal candidate to replace Ryu. Wieland, acquired in the Mat Kemp deal with the Padres, posted a 7.15 ERA in 11.1 major league innings last season. However, he has had an impressive spring, tossing nine innings and striking out nine while allowing just one run. Lefty Erik Bedard was having a solid spring but has been out with a lat strain and has yet to have an MRI.
Carlos Frias and Mike Bolsinger could also replace Ryu, and the Dodgers may be inclined to consider internal replacements first. ESPN's Mark Saxon notes Wieland is likely the favorite because Dodgers General Manager Farhan Zaidi said "this is just a hard time to go out there and acquire starting pitching depth." Zaidi also added that "there aren't a lot of starting pitching sellers right now."
Philadelphia is not open to eating any of Hamels' remaining contract, and the Dodgers reportedly do not want to lose top prospects Corey Seager, Julio Urias, or Joc Pederson in a trade. Several of the Marlins' starting pitchers have drawn a notable amount of interest in recent days, with Brad Hand, who is out of options, a candidate to be dealt before the end of spring. If Ryu is out for less than a month, the Dodgers may be in a better position and would likely not need to trade for any depth.