The Dodgers have activated injured starter Hyun-Jin Ryu from the injured list, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. To clear a roster spot for Ryu, right-handed pitcher Casey Sadler has been optioned to Triple-A. Ryu will start Sunday’s series finale versus the Diamondbacks.
Ryu landed on the IL in early August owing to a minor neck issue. He last pitched on July 31, but he’ll return to the Dodgers’ rotation after the minimum ten days out of commission. Ryu has emerged as one of the National League’s premier starters, tossing 135 2/3 innings while maintaining a minuscule 1.53 ERA, placing him among the frontrunners for the NL Cy Young Award. After signing the qualifying offer last offseason, Ryu will have the chance to enter free agency in the winter following a career year.
Sadler’s demotion, meanwhile, can’t be attributed to a lack of results. Since joining the Dodgers in an early-July trade with the Rays, the 29-year-old has surrendered just one run in 12 1/3 innings of work. However, his peripheral numbers paint a slightly less rosy picture, as he’s struck out just 5.8 batters per nine innings. Still, Sadler has no doubt shown that he is deserving of a spot on a Major League roster, but the state of Dodgers’ deep pitching staff will squeeze him out of the mix for the time being.
Gurnick would add in a subsequent Tweet that Dodgers manager Dave Roberts would like to get a look at other relief options as the postseason approaches. The Dodgers’ expansive lead in the division should afford them greater flexibility to give opportunities to young pitchers who hope to claim a spot on the postseason roster. In addition to young standouts Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin, pitchers like Caleb Ferguson and JT Chargois look like fringe candidates to crack the October roster, and Sadler’s demotion should give Roberts a chance to figure out exactly what he has in Ferguson and Chargois.