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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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San Diego Padres Fantasy Report: Carlos Quentin Hurt Again

April 1, 2014 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off
Beyond Quentin, the Padres have more than their share of injuries to start the season, which makes those dark horse predictions a bit tough to swallow. There’s no doubt that even with their modest US$89 million payroll, the Padres have a chance to flirt with .500 or perhaps even surprise with 85 or so wins this season, but should they fall into a hole early, it’s going to be too difficult to sneak up on anyone.
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Can the Washington Nationals Rebound Under Matt Williams?

November 25, 2013 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off
There’s no doubt this team is poised to be a winner for the long haul given its core of young talent, but it will need to beef up the offense to get back to the playoffs in 2014. Remember that they won the NL East in 2012 and had the best record in baseball, so even though this year’s 86-win total was nothing to sneeze at, it was a letdown nonetheless – especially since a too little, too late 18-9 September made their final record look better than how they played most of the season.
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Cleveland Browns Come Up Flat in Huge Game

November 18, 2013 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off
After Sunday’s 41-20 shellacking at the hands of division and state rival Cincinnati, the Browns have now dropped four of their past five games to find themselves down to 12th in the conference. There is still hope, especially with the two next games at home, but it’s fading with each loss.
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Brandon Beachy Back in Form for Braves

August 15, 2013 | by RotoRob | Comments Comments Off
Washington has won five straight games, but big freaking deal. Over the past 10 games, the Atlanta Braves have managed to increase their lead to 14 games – nearly twice as big a lead as any other division leader.
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