Updated August. 01, 2014 07:09
Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said Thursday (Korea time) opted to give starter Ryu Hyun-jin an extra day of rest in the team`s starter rotation. Under the new rotation, Ryu (12 wins and 5 losses with an earned run average of 3.44) will be pitching against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.
Ryu is accustomed to South Korea`s five-day rotation, rather than to the U.S. Major League Baseball`s practice of throwing a game after a four-day break. He is trying hard to get used to the four-day break system but his body is still used to the Korean system of a five-day break. His ball speeds are different. After a four-day break, he throws fastballs at the speed of 144 kilometers (90 miles) per hour, compared with 147 to 149 kilometers (92 to 93 miles) per second after five days. In an interview with ESPN on Monday, Mattingly said he was seeking ways to give Ryu an extra day of break.
However, the length of break has not affected Ryu`s performance very much so far this year. He won four games and lost four with an ERA of 4.32 with four-day breaks, while winning four and losing on with an ERA of 4.28 on five-day intervals. With five days or longer breaks, he won four and lost no game with an ERA of 1.13.
Ryu`s opponent pitcher at the match against the Cubs will likely be Tsuyoshi Wada from Japan. The Cubs has not announced its starter at the game yet. Wada won 107 games and lost 61 with an ERA of 3.13 in his nine-year career at the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks. Many Korean baseball fans are familiar to him because he threw for the Japanese national team. He advanced to the U.S. after becoming a free agent after the 2011 season, only to remain in the Minor League for nearly three years due to injuries. He made his Big League debut on July 9 against the Cincinnati Reds. This year, he threw at three games, with one win and one loss and an ERA of 3.38.