By Jon Weisman
Hyun-Jin Ryu said after tonight’s big-league comeback start that he felt no problems physically with his surgically repaired shoulder, and is focusing on improving the results.
“Overall, I felt really great, (though) I gave up the runs,” Ryu said. “My shoulder felt great. I didn’t see any issues.”
“As I threw more, I was feeling better mentally,” he added. “I don’t think there were any uncomfortable pitches. I was pretty much happy with my control. … I just have to get better. ”
Ryu conceded that he is hoping his fastball speed will increase as he gets more work in.
“Compared to when I was healthy, of course my velocity is a little down,” he said. “Again, as I play more games, I think (I’ll improve).”
Seeing Ryu take a Major League mound again “was a victory in itself,” Dave Roberts said.
“I think the bigger answer will be how he feels tomorrow and the next day going forward,” said Roberts. “But to see Ryu take the mound tonight was great. Obviously, (with) the results, we would hope for more and better, but to get him through five innings, there were some good things. I really thought up until that fifth inning, when he ran out of gas a little bit and the velocity started to dip … I thought he threw the ball well. The fastball had some life to it, good arm speed with the changeup.”
Hyun-Jin Ryu averaged 89.9 MPH on his 4-seam fastball tonight. He topped out at 92.2. https://t.co/LtsypGt45R
— Dustin Nosler (@DustinNosler) July 8, 2016
The Dodgers plan to attempt to increase his innings while monitoring what, even if Ryu isn’t hurting, is still an ongoing recovery.
“Until we can sustain start after start and get some length and continue to increase his pitch count, I think it’s an unknown for him and for us,” Roberts said. “We’ll just keep a mindful eye on it. … Obviously we talk about starters and length, but the No. 1 thing is he’s back.”
“I think that the arm speed, the repeatability of the mechanics was really good. His feel for pitching’s still there. But yeah, there’s a lot more cases of guys coming back from Tommy John (surgery) … the shoulder’s a tricky one. But I think the mechanics haven’t been compromised. For us, tomorrow, just to see how he comes in tomorrow, the next day, just to see how he feels will be telling.”