The Los Angeles Dodgers are taking a cautious approach with starter Hyun-jin Ryu as he recovers from shoulder surgery.
While the Dodgers and the 28-year-old left-hander have been optimistic that Ryu will make a full recovery by Opening Day, it appears at the outset of spring training that might not be the case.
"I would say he's certainly behind, and that's kind of by design in the sense that we don't want to push him," new Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters on Monday. "But I would say a couple of weeks is fair, give or take a couple of weeks."
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Ryu, who missed the entire 2015 season with a torn labrum that forced him to undergo surgery in May, has been throwing regular bullpen schedules over the past week, but Roberts suggested that he'll be held back as other starters begin to throw live batting practice this week.
In his two seasons with the Dodgers, Ryu has been a solid addition to the club's rotation, posting a 28-15 record with a 3.17 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, and 293 strikeouts versus 78 walks in 344 innings over 56 starts.
In the event that Ryu is unable to field his first scheduled start of the season in April, the Dodgers have no shortage of major-league depth to replace him in their rotation.
In addition to ace Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers have lefties Scott Kazmir, Brett Anderson, Alex Wood and righties Brandon McCarthy and new addition Kenta Maeda.
McCarthy isn't slated to return to the roster until the summer, which would make Wood the likely replacement for Ryu if he's not ready by April.