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Hyun-Jin Ryu Seeks Revenge Against Giants

April 17, 2014 | By RotoRob | Comments (0)
Hyun-Jin Ryu is off to a brilliant start for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Hyun-Jin Ryu is hoping for better results against the Giants Thursday. (Nostraballus.wordpress.com)

Back in January, when we slotted Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu 20th in our Starting Pitcher Rankings, we wondered what kind of adjustments the league would make against him after his fine “rookie” season (as always, we balk at calling a player that has seven years professional experience a rook).

Well, so far, we’d say the rest of the majors is still trying to figure Ryu out as he’s provided value almost exactly as we thought he would (he’s currently 21st among SP based on ESPN’s rankings).

In his last start (Friday in Arizona) he was pitching on an extra day of rest and it did wonders as he tossed seven brilliant innings of shutout ball, surrendering a mere two hits while fanning eight and walking one.

In fact, other than Miguel Montero (two singles), no Snake could puncture Ryu, who set down 18 of the final 19 batters he faced.

A bounce back effort like that was just what the doctor ordered for Ryu after the Giants had tattooed him for eight hits and eight runs (six earned) in just two innings a week earlier.

Well, Thursday afternoon we’ll find out if Ryu was schooled in that outing as he gets the Giants again — this time in San Francisco.

Other than the ugly outing, things have gone extremely well for him through his first four starts of 2014. Ryu has been nearly unhittable with just 15 hits allowed in 21 IP, and better yet, he has not served up a gopher ball after coughing up 15 in 30 starts last year. He has trimmed his WHIP to a stellar 1.10, and he ranks in the top 10 in the NL in strikeouts.

Ryu’s command isn’t quite as sharp as 2013, but it’s still strong enough that we are not concerned. Perhaps he has been a tad lucky so far (his xFIP is 3.55), but we are still talking about en elite talent here and yet another success story for the Dodgers, who continue to excel on the International signings front.

By the way, we’re not sure how strong a command of English the Korean-born Ryu has, but he’s certainly developed an understanding with teammate Juan Uribe, of the Dominican Republic. Unfortunately, Cuban Yasiel Puig doesn’t like it, and he clearly likes to try to get under Uribe’s skin (see video below).

On Thursday, Ryu needs to be very careful with Angel Pagan (5-for-8 career vs. Ryu), but generally speaking, he doesn’t have a history of getting slapped around by the Giants in the least. Last year, Ryu was 2-2 with a 2.48 ERA in five starts against San Francisco.

We think we can safely say that his April 4 hammering by the Giants was a one-off, so we’d advise keeping him active for this start.

Quick Hits

  • Speaking of Dodger International signees, Yasiel Puig just can’t escape the drama, can he? Not only is he reportedly being threatened by the people that set up his defection from Cubs in 2012, a recent civil lawsuit has been filed accusing him of wrongfully accusing a man of trying to set up a defection. What?! Oh man. Do you get the sense that the constant headache that surrounds Puig may actually outstrip his talent in terms of immensity? Did you see how big a douchebag he was in the video above? Yikes!
  • Hanley Ramirez got plunked on the hand by a pitch and had to come out early Wednesday, leaving his owners praying to the baseball gods for good news. Sure enough, X-rays were negative, and while he is not in the lineup Thursday, he dodged a bullet here, and will likely be back in action this weekend. Of course, you better double check the lineup Friday before activating H-Ram.
  • In losing the first two games of this three-game series in San Francisco, the Dodgers have ceded first place in the NL West to the archrival Giants, so for a mid-April game, this start by Ryu Thursday afternoon has more importance than usual — for several reasons.

Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below how you think Ryu will do against the Giants Thursday.

RotoRob’s Fantasy Baseball Weekly Podcast

Crave more in-depth Fantasy analysis? Then join us every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST for RotoRob’s Fantasy Baseball Weekly Podcast on Blogtalkradio as we entertain and edify you for an hour or more each week. We’re off this week because of the NHL Playoffs, but RotoRob will return on April 24 with RotoRob.com NFL Writer Vaney Hariri. We will have a special guest, as well (Bob Kendrick, President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum). Tune in here.

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Honouring Jackie Robinson

April 16, 2014 | By RotoRob | Comments (0)
There’s a reason this guy went grey so early and died far too young. He was carrying around a weight from years of ugly abuse, and the film did not leave us with a sense of the true scope of his suffering. The fact that he died at the tender age of 53 (yes, diabetes played a huge role here), was not even mentioned. We find it hard to believe that his ordeal in breaking the colour barrier and the enormous burden he carried was not a factor in his untimely death.
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2014 Relief Pitcher Rankings

April 15, 2014 | By Josh Johnson | Comments (0)
While it’s true that he is human and will occasionally turn a situation sticky, he remains perfect in save chances early on this year. Okay, so if you want to call his ERA rising two-tenths of a run last year alarming, go ahead. You’re probably also a germaphobe. There aren’t many hurlers that can blow hitters away with such ease as Kimbrel can. Let’s see… 900 hitters have now faced him since he arrived in the majors and he’s struck out 392 of them (44 per cent). What do you think? Kimbrel has been the clear No. 1 on this list for a couple of years now and considering how tough it is to take him yard, we don’t see him going anywhere as long as he’s healthy.
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Review: MLB.TV Premium App (PS4/XB1)

April 14, 2014 | By Herija Green | Comments (0)
Upon launching, you’re presented with a full-screen grid showing all the games for the current date. By default, these go top left to bottom right in order of start time, though if you identify a favourite team they’ll be moved into the first slot and starred. You can switch days with the shoulder buttons or view a monthly calendar by clicking the left stick. It’s very intuitive, well laid out and makes finding games a breeze.
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The Wire Troll: Mike Leake Flowing Well

April 13, 2014 | By Tim McLeod | Comments (3)
Leake has very quietly enjoyed a solid start to the season. He was totally dominant against a very good St. Louis Cardinals lineup last week, scattering four hits over eight innings of shutout ball. Coming off a 14-win campaign last year, Leake will provide a lot more value as a fifth/sixth starter in your Fantasy rotation than he’s currently being given credit for. Hell, he’s not a bad golfer, either.
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