GLENDALE, Ariz. — We gained a little clarity about the Dodgers’ fifth starter situation Monday morning.
To recap so far: Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Brett Anderson and Brandon McCarthy are having healthy springs. Hyun-Jin Ryu is not. He flew back to Los Angeles to get an MRI on his ailing left shoulder and will begin the season on the disabled list.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that Ryu is scheduled to meet with team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache later today and will fly back to Arizona tomorrow. Mattingly also shared just how irrelevant the fifth starter will be for the Dodgers in April: He’ll start April 13 or 14 against the Seattle Mariners at home, then again April 23 or 24 against the San Francisco Giants.
So, potentially, Ryu can start the season on the disabled list and still miss only one start — two if the injury is serious enough to knock him out for a month.
As for who will replace Ryu, it won’t be Erik Bedard. An MRI revealed Bedard has a strained teres major muscle on the left side of his back. The original diagnosis was a strained “lat,” which typically refers to the latissimus dorsi, the largest muscle in the back. The teres major is a smaller muscle, closer to the armpit.
More pertinently for the Dodgers, it’s the same injury that knocked Clayton Kershaw out for six weeks early last season. If Bedard doesn’t start a game for six weeks from the time of his last start (Friday), we won’t see him again at any level before May 1.
That helps the cause of non-roster invitees Chad Gaudin and David Huff, both of whom went through a normal routine Monday. They’re essentially competing with Joe Wieland, Mike Bolsinger and Carlos Frias for a chance to start two games in April.
That’s big news for today and small news in the long run … pending the results of Ryu’s MRI.