Ryu was supposed to begin throwing to hitters this week but did not make the trip with the Dodgers. Instead, he stayed behind to work out at Dodger Stadium and the training staff “decided to give him a couple days off” after his velocity decreased during his most recent bullpen session.
Mattingly said Ryu was clocked at only 82-83 mph during his throwing session Friday at Dodger Stadium, “a couple ticks below” what he had thrown in his previous workout. The lost velocity is suspected to be a result of “that tired-arm thing” pitchers often go through during spring training, the manager said.
Dodgers starter Hyun-jin Ryu is a big star in his native Korea, which is why he stars in goofy commercials like this one.
Last fall, Ryu starred in an ad for ramen that also featured a fake Clayton Kershaw. Now he’s rapping to promote credit cards for a Korean bank. His outfit is spot-on and the Mission Impossible theme makes for a pretty good beat.
Ryu is currently on the disabled list with a shoulder injury. He’ll be back soon enough, but it’s nice to know that he has a potential career as a K-pop star waiting for him when his career is over.
Putting a blanket statement on the level of talent in the KBO is an unwinnable situation. Both Nitkowski and Sadowski said that while there are guys there who could not crack a Double-A roster in the U.S., there are players, such as Ryu, who clearly have the talent to be difference makers in the majors.
“I don’t know that there’s a Triple-A team that could roll in and necessarily beat the Doosan Bears,” Nitkowski said. “Even to say that it’s Triple-A, I don’t think that’s necessarily fair. Maybe the rosters don’t run as deep. Maybe they don’t have Triple-A players one through nine, but one through six, one through seven, a lot of teams are really good. I really hesitate to put a number on it or a level on it.”
Sadowski echoes this view, citing Americans who go to Korea as they come down from the peak of their career with no major league teams willing to keep them. “It’s really hard to compare because those guys had major league tools at some point,” he said. “When teams get hurt and their replacements come in, they’re not being replaced by a Triple-A player or a guy who could play in the big leagues. They’re getting replaced by a younger guy who has only been playing two years of professional baseball or may be short on tools.”