Watch: Hyun-Jin Ryu throws bullpen session, might start in NLDS.

Hyun-Jin Ryu took a small but necessary step toward pitching in the playoffs when he threw a (roughly) 20-pitch bullpen session Friday at Dodger Stadium:

Those pitches were all fastballs. As you can hear, they hit their target with a familiar pop. Ryu’s first few breaking balls wound up in the dirt, which isn’t too surprising considering Ryu hadn’t thrown breaking pitches off a mound in two weeks.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that Ryu will try to throw a bullpen session at full intensity Sunday, and “if that goes good he’ll move on to some type of sim game.”

As for the National League Division Series, which begins a week from today, Mattingly said that he intends to use Ryu as a starter if he’s available.

“It’s hard to say he lines up for anything at this moment,” Mattingly said.

It’s easy to rule out Ryu pitching in games one and two of the series at Dodger Stadium, though Mattingly wouldn’t confirm that Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke are slotted to start those games.

Hyun-Jin Ryu update: Dodgers pitcher makes strides in throwing program.

Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu has taken a big step forward in his throwing program.

He threw in the outfield prior to Tuesday’s game against the San Francisco Giants a distance that would generally qualify as “long toss.” Here is Ryu toward the end of that session:

“I’m happy with his progress,” Mattingly said. “I’d be a little surprised to see him by the end of the (regular season).”

Based on how far he’s progressed in the four days since he started throwing, Ryu seems certain to be throwing off a mound soon.

Ryu also hit with the other starting pitchers prior to the game.

Hyun-Jin Ryu’s submaximal throwing program continues.

I decided to look up “submaximal” on today. There is no picture next to the word, let alone an image.

Therefore, I submit this video for approval for Messrs. Merriam, Webster, Collins, Oxford et. al:

Ryu threw a little longer and a little harder than he did yesterday, about 10 minutes. He felt well enough to playfully throw a baseball off Yasiel Puig‘s butt, after Puig mocked his throwing motion. Ryu met with head athletic trainer Stan Conte, just as he did Saturday. It serves to reason that he’ll continue throwing Monday, when the Dodgers return home to play the Giants.

An MRI revealed inflammation in Ryu’s left shoulder after he left his last start (Sept. 12) with an injury.

Hyun-Jin Ryu begins his submaximal throwing program.

CHICAGO >> If a pitcher you’re hoping can start in October is only allowed to play light catch for less than 10 minutes on September 20, you’ve got a problem.

For Hyun-Jin Ryu, it’s a start.

The left-hander apparently felt well enough to begin his submaximal throwing program at Wrigley Field on Saturday morning. What is “submaximal”? In Ryu’s case, he tossed the ball to a bullpen catcher for 5-10 minutes while head athletic trainer Stan Conte watched.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said the plan is for Ryu to “ramp up” his throwing intensity in the coming days.

Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder) might not pitch for the Dodgers until October.

CHICAGO >> Hyun-Jin Ryu’s left shoulder was hurting Friday morning.

The good news: The pain is from the cortisone shot Ryu received Monday — not from the inflammation that knocked him out of his last start seven days ago in San Francisco.

The bad news: Ryu hasn’t touched a baseball in seven days. He won’t throw Friday and he might not start over the final nine games of the regular season.

“Overall I feel a lot better than at first,” Ryu said through his interpreter Friday. “I’ve been working out, obviously without throwing and hurting my shoulder further. It’s a good direction. I can’t really say when (I’ll be back).”
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Hyun-Jin Ryu to begin throwing Friday, bullpen game Monday still in play.

CHICAGO >> Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu was scheduled to arrive at Wrigley Field late Thursday because of a delayed flight, manager Don Mattingly said.

The Dodgers’ manager said that Ryu will begin his submaximal throwing program Friday.

To expect Ryu to start Monday having thrown only two days prior, Mattingly said, is “a stretch.”

Mattingly hasn’t ruled out rotating relievers through nine innings Monday against the San Francisco Giants — a “bullpen game” — which might be the preferable alternative to Kevin Correia or Carlos Frias, who was rocked Wednesday.

Hyun-Jin Ryu’s MRI brings good news and an uncertain timetable.

Hyun-Jin Ryu

Hyun-Jin Ryu left the Dodgers’ 9-0 loss to the San Francisco Giants after one inning with an inflamed left shoulder. (Associated Press photo)

DENVER >>The National League West standings are so tight — even after two big wins over the San Francisco Giants — that anything less than a glowing health report for every Dodgers player comes as bad news these days.

Even Dodgers manager Don Mattingly acknowledged that the standings will affect how the Dodgers proceed with Hyun-Jin Ryu, whose MRI results came back clean Monday.

“If we’d already clinched the division or something,” Mattingly said, “I’m sure we’d look at things differently.”
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Carlos Frias throws bullpen session, lined up to start Wednesday.

Carlos Frias threw a bullpen session Sunday at AT&T Park. The rookie right-hander is still in line to start for Hyun-Jin Ryu on Wednesday against the Colorado Rockies. Ryu is getting an MRI on his inflamed left shoulder Monday in Los Angeles.

Here’s what Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said about Frias today:

Dodgers 17, San Francisco Giants 0: Today’s game story.

Dee Gordon

Dee Gordon stole his 60th base of the season in the Dodgers’ 17-0 win over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday. (Associated Press photo)

I managed to refer to the Herbert Hoover administration in today’s game story. The box score, which shows the Dodgers going 11 for 19 with runners in scoring position, is all kinds of ridiculous.

Hyun-Jin Ryu is getting an MRI on his left shoulder Monday in Los Angeles and Carlos Frias will take his spot in the rotation if he can’t pitch Wednesday. Read more about Ryu and Frias in today’s notebook.