As Hyun-Jin Ryu clomped down a rain-slicked hill, headed for his first session of live batting practice this spring, a group of fans gathered nearby perked up.
“Good luck this year,” one said as Ryu walked by. “Stay healthy! Stay healthy!”
That task has proved challenging for Ryu in the last two years. He underwent season-stealing shoulder surgery in 2015. His comeback in 2016 was shelved after one game. He enters this spring as one of seven options for the final two spots in the starting rotation — and perhaps the least physically reliable candidate.
Ryu completed an inning of batting practice without major incident. He pronounced himself healthy afterward, and...