Ryu to make debut for Dodgers next week

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Ryu to make debut for Dodgers next week

GLENDALE, Arizona - Ryu Hyun-jin will make his Major League debut during the Los Angeles Dodgers’ second preseason game against the Chicago White Sox on Feb. 24, according to the Dodgers on Saturday.

The 25-year-old Korean southpaw will pitch the third or fourth inning, the Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told reporters. Zack Greinke will start the game, he said.

Ryu’s debut comes earlier than some Korean media expected - the Dodgers’ season opener is on April 1 - and some Korean observers think the team was impressed by Ryu’s solid performance during the bullpen sessions last week.

Ryu pitched 40 balls in the first bullpen session at the team’s spring training in Camelback Ranch in Phoenix on Thursday and 50 balls in the second session on Saturday.

The Dodgers’ pitching coach Rick Honeycutt told reporters that Ryu’s control on fastball and change-up was good and wanted to see how the Korean pitches with opponents at bat. According to the team’s Web site, Mattingly watched his pitching in the batter’s box and said, “It catches you off-guard. It’s a little different.”

Ryu said overall he was pleased with both bullpen sessions, despite admitting that he wasn’t satisfied with his curveball control. “It is a bit shaky as I haven’t adjusted to the Major League ball, but there were no big problems,” Ryu said. He said that he will not be at his full force in his debut on Feb. 24.

“I don’t put too much significance on pitching one or two innings,” Ryu said. “I think it is important to show a good performance when I pitch five innings or more.”

By Kim Hyo-kyung, Moon Gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]
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