Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu faced opposing hitters for four simulated innings Friday afternoon at Marlins Park. It was his first time pitching in that environment since injuring his left foot when getting hit by a comebacker on June 28.
Manager Dave Roberts described Ryu's performance as "sharp." But he was unsure when Ryu will pitch again for the Dodgers. Ryu is not expected to appear during this five-game trip, which features three games against the Miami Marlins and two against the Chicago White Sox.
"We still don't know when we're going to drop him in," Roberts said. "But it will be at some point. That's a conversation that we're going to have with him, and try to see what makes sense for our ballclub."
Ryu has been jostling with Kenta Maeda for the fifth spot in the starting rotation for most of the season. Ryu's injury opened the door for Maeda, who will face the White Sox on Wednesday. Since June, Maeda has posted a 3.03 earned-run average in seven appearances, including two stints in relief. In five June starts, Ryu produced a 4.73 ERA.
Roberts did not rule out Ryu rejoining the club as a reliever. Ryu logged a four-inning save while backing up Maeda during an outing against the Cardinals in June.
"I know he wants to start," Roberts said. "And we want to drop him back in as a starter. But if a situation presents itself where we need him out of the bullpen, I know he would be open to helping us in that capacity.
"But ideally for him, and for us, it would be as a starter. With the way things have gone, with the starting pitching that we have, it's hard to be exact."