Just as Clayton Kershaw is coming off the disabled list, Hyun-Jin Ryu is heading onto the disabled list with a shoulder injury. The Los Angeles Dodgers swap their No. 3 pitcher for their No. 1, but their depth has already been tested by injuries, making any further time lost a tough proposition.
Ryu is headed to the DL with what the Dodgers are calling shoulder inflammation. They have been non-specific about the severity and location, but given that the Dodgers medical staff has not asked for an MRI, they must feel that they have a good handle on it. Team sources tell me that Ryu's shoulder is more tender than painful and that the push to the DL was precautionary.
Ryu has no significant history of shoulder problems, going 192 innings in his first MLB campaign. Ryu showed good stamina throughout the season, though the Dodgers were very cautious with his innings, especially early in the season.
The Dodgers cleared Ryu to start a throwing program after some progress with the inflammation, and he should have a couple throwing sessions before getting up on a mound. If all goes well, he could come off the DL sometime late next week.
The Dodgers have a current rotation of Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Dan Haren and Josh Beckett, with Paul Maholm holding the five slot. With Chad Billingsley finishing up his Tommy John rehab and Zach Lee at Triple-A Albuquerque, the Dodgers have some flexibility even with Ryu out. Beckett, Haren and Maholm are essentially pitching for their slot each time out until Ryu and Billingsley are back.
Billingsley did have a mild setback, getting some tendinitis during his rehab. That pushes his return back until mid-June at the current pace, but he is expected to slot right into the rotation when he gets back.
Ryu remains a solid middle-rotation option in fantasy and should be able to put up solid numbers. Missing a couple starts will hold his innings down around the same mark he hit last season, which is a positive. Another big positive is that Ryu hasn't shown any loss of velocity despite the shoulder issue. Fantasy players should get him back in their rotation once he returns.