Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu is currently scheduled to square off against Braves right-hander Julio Teheran in Game 3 of the NLDS on Sunday in Los Angeles, but Ken Gurnick of MLB.com noticed something that would appear to indicate that he’s not feeling 100 percent at the moment.
For example, Ryu worked out this week with a compression sleeve on his left elbow. He also threw a bullpen session Friday with team surgeon Neal ElAttrache, medical director Stan Conte and manager Don Mattingly watching.
Ryu generally does not throw bullpen sessions between starts, and especially not two days before a start. He appeared to throw without discomfort.
Asked about his arm after Game 1, Ryu said he was “fine” and that he was wearing the sleeve to “keep my arm loose.”
It could be nothing and there’s no indication that the Dodgers are considering making a change, but this is a situation that bears watching over the next 24 hours. Ricky Nolasco is currently lined up to start Game 4 on Monday while the Dodgers have left-hander Chris Capuano as rotation insurance. However, Capuano hasn’t thrown more than 1 2/3 innings in a game since August 31.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.