Don Mattingly backs Hyun-Jin Ryu’s rookie of the year candidacy

Dodgers Hyun-Jin Ryu pitches against the Cincinnati Reds on July 27.
(Reed Saxon / Associated Press)

CHICAGO – Hyun-Jin Ryu deserves to be in contention for the National League rookie of the year award, Manager Don Mattingly said Friday.

“I think he should be considered,” Mattingly said. “He’s throwing the ball really well, he’s been consistent pretty much every time out. I’m sure he’ll be part of it if he continues to pitch the way he’s continued to pitch.”

Before the start of the season, Ryu said his goal was to win 10 games in his rookie year. He could get there Friday in the Dodgers’ second game of a four-game series at Wrigley Field.

Ryu enters the game with a 9-3 record and 3.14 earned-run average. The left-hander has won his last three decisions.


“I think he’s been underrated,” Mattingly said. “I don’t hear a lot of people talking about him.”

Mattingly said Ryu has probably been overshadowed by teammates Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.

“When you pitch on the same staff as Kersh and Greinke, you don’t get quite as much talk,” Mattingly said. Referring to Yasiel Puig, Mattingly continued, “Our other young sensation comes along, he gets a little bit of attention. Hyun-Jin just kind of does his job and keeps us in games.”

The last time Ryu took the mound, it was in a showdown against fellow South Korean Shin-Soo Choo that made national news in their homeland. Ryu was brilliant that day, limiting the Cincinnati Reds to a run and two hits over seven innings.