Hyun-Jin Ryu scheduled to make MLB debut April 2 vs. Giants

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From Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times:

Hyun-Jin Ryu is scheduled to make his major league debut April 2 in the Dodgers’ second game of the regular season.

The Dodgers had the choice of starting either Ryu or Chad Billingsley on that day. But Billingsley’s pitching schedule has been altered, ruling him out …

That April 2 start against the Giants was originally Zack Greinke’s, but his schedule was also altered.

The Dodgers have committed a total of $61.74 million to Ryu between the $25.74 million posting fee and his six-year, $36 million major league contract. His spring got off to a sluggish start because of conditioning issues, but the 26-year-old left-hander has looked sharp in recent Cactus League outings. Ryu went seven innings on Saturday against the White Sox, allowing two runs on one hit while striking out five.

Ryu posted a 1.82 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 187/45 K/BB ratio in 199 2/3 innings last year in Korea.

Starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani will pinch-hit and pinch-run for the Angels in 2018

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The Angels’ bench is looking woefully thin this winter — so thin, in fact, that manager Mike Scioscia says he’s considering utilizing starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani as a pinch-hitter and pinch-runner on the days he’s not scheduled to pitch.

I’ve never had a pitcher pinch-run,” Scioscia told reporters Saturday. “There’s more bad than good that can come out of it. But Shohei is not just a pitcher. He’s a guy that has the ability to do some of the things coming off the bench, whether it’s pinch-hit or pinch-run, and we’re definitely going to tap into that if it’s necessary, because we feel we’re not putting him at risk. It’s something he’s able to do.

Granted, spring training allows for a certain amount of experimentation before managers and players decide what works best for them, so this may not be the strategy the Angels employ for the entire season. In addition to coming off the bench between starts, Ohtani is also expected to see 2-3 days at DH every week, forcing Albert Pujols to shift over to first base to accommodate the new two-way star.

Ohtani’s hitting prowess has already been well-documented — he has a lifetime .286/.358/.500 batting line from NPB and crushed a batting practice home run during his initial workouts with the team this week — but his skills on the basepaths have received less attention so far. MLB Pipeline describes the 23-year-old phenom as a “well-above average runner” whose speed has yet to manifest stolen bases: he’s nabbed just 13 bases in 17 chances over the last five years. That’s a number Scioscia hopes to see increased this season, though he doesn’t want his ace pitcher making any head-first slides on the basepaths to do so.

To be sure, it’s an unorthodox role for any young player to step into, but if anyone can pull it off, Ohtani can.