Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu exited tonight’s start with a groin strain after throwing a 64mph pitch that was the slowest pitch he’s ever thrown in the Majors (h/t: J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group, on Twitter). The Dodgers announced a left groin strain for Ryu, and manager Dave Roberts didn’t sound optimistic about the injury postgame, calling it a “pretty good strain” and adding that Ryu is headed for an MRI (Twitter link via Pedro Moura of The Athletic). A lengthy absence for Ryu would be a major blow for the Dodgers, who’ve no doubt relished watching the southpaw bounce back to peak form with a dominant 2.12 ERA, 10.9 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 0.9 HR/9 and 56.7 percent ground-ball rate in 29 2/3 innings thus far in 2018.
The Dodgers have been hammered by injuries early this season, with Corey Seager done for the season due to Tommy John surgery and Justin Turner still yet to suit up after suffering a broken wrist in Spring Training. The Dodgers don’t sound especially optimistic on Turner at the moment, either, as Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times tweets that skipper Dave Roberts simply said tonight that he has “no idea” when Turner will be cleared to head out on a minor league rehab assignment.
A bit more out of Los Angeles…
- Seager, Roberts and GM Farhan Zaidi spoke with reporters at Chase Field following the announcement of Seager’s devastating injury (link via McCullough). While there was immediate speculation about the possibility of the Dodgers seeking out a trade, Zaidi suggested that for the time being, the Dodgers will look to in-house options, with Chris Taylor assuming responsibilities at shortstop. (Few teams, after all, are willing to part with a difference-making infielder at this point on the calendar.) Seager told the media that he felt his elbow give out over the weekend when making a relay throw on Sunday, explaining the feeling as a sudden bout of numbness in his elbow. The 23-year-old star dealt with bone chips and inflammation in the elbow last summer, according to McCullough, though extensive testing led medical experts to recommend against surgery at season’s end. It’s not clear how much, if any, ligament damage existed in Seager’s elbow following the 2017 season, of course, and undergoing a major surgery (especially Tommy John surgery) at that point still could very well have wiped him out for most, if not all of the 2018 season.
- In the wake of the Seager injury, Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times spoke to Manny Machado about the widespread speculation of the Dodgers potentially pursuing him on the trade market. Machado said he’s not had anyone reach out to him about the possibility, and Shaikin writes that the superstar infielder didn’t sound overly amenable to granting a potential trade partner a window to negotiate an extension. “Everyone has waited for the time to become a free agent,” said Machado. “You want to go out there and explore your options.” The 25-year-old did leave the door open a bit, adding that there’s “a price for everything” before stating that he hopes to remain with the Orioles at least through the 2018 season. Of course, as Machado also acknowledged, his future is largely out of his hands; he has no say over whether he’s traded or remains an Oriole. Per Shaikin, the O’s have no plans to accelerate their timeline for a potential Machado deal now that the Dodgers have a glaring need. Certainly, it’s possible that other clubs will join the pursuit later this year, thus driving up the price. And while the O’s had a dreadful start to the season, the organization undoubtedly is still holding out faint hope for a rebound in May and early June before conceding that the season is lost.