Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, of South Korea, throws during spring training… (Paul Sancya / Associated…)
PHOENIX – Well, this much is already clear about Hyun-Jin Ryu: He won’t be competing in the Los Angeles Marathon any time soon.
Ryu was at the end of a line of Dodgers pitchers that ran around the team’s complex Tuesday as part of the first workout of the spring. As Ryu shuffled past more than two dozen South Korean journalists who were there to chronicle his every step, he said to them between gasps, “So fast.”
The reporters laughed.
Ryu, who has demonstrated a good sense of humor over the first two days of camp, appeared completely unshaken by where he finished on the team’s morning run. The 6-foot-2 left-hander, who appears heavier than his listed weight of 215 pounds, said he wasn’t worried about his conditioning.
“I’m still really healthy and all that matters is how I pitch,” he said.
Ryu noted the difference between American and Korean training methods.
“I realized today that in America, when they do long-distance running, they run really fast,” he said. “But in Korea, long-distance running means exactly that: They run for a long distance but not that fast. Here, it’s like they’re running at full speed.”
Ryu will throw his first bullpen session under the team’s supervision on Thursday.
He will also take batting practice.
“I am concerned because it will be my first time holding a bat in seven years,” he said. “My goal is just to make contact.”
Zack Greinke said Felix Hernandez is worth the $175 million the Seattle Mariners will pay him over the next seven seasons. “I’ll tell you right now, he’s a better pitcher than I am,” he said. Greinke signed a six-year, $147-million deal with the Dodgers over the winter. ... Scott Elbert, who underwent two elbow operations over the winter, said he is three weeks away from starting a throwing program. He estimates he could be pitching in the major leagues in late April or early May. ... Position players aren’t due to report until Friday, but several have come early. Among them are Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Luis Cruz and Dee Gordon.
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