Ryu has 'very good' bullpen session

Ryu has 'very good' bullpen session

PHOENIX -- Pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu pleased Dodgers management Monday when he returned to the mound and threw an inspired 30-pitch bullpen session.

"Each day we're seeing more strength and especially today, the way he ended up with the last half-dozen he threw, it looked a lot more like him," said pitching coach Rick Honeycutt. "Still a ways to go, but you saw the effort. It was all positive."

Ryu, recovering from left shoulder surgery that sidelined him the entire 2015 season, was pleased as well.

"Today was very good," said Ryu. "I knew right away I felt great."

Spring Training: Schedule | Tickets | Information

President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and manager Dave Roberts were among the onlookers. Earlier, Roberts speculated that Ryu is likely two weeks behind the other pitchers "by design," as the club continues to lower expectations of Ryu being ready for the start of the season.

"We don't want to push him," said Roberts. "We've added depth to accommodate his schedule. To expect him to pitch 200 innings coming off shoulder surgery is not realistic."

Ryu threw his first bullpen session Thursday, with Roberts saying Ryu was restrained in intensity but was pain free. Ryu said he was happy with his velocity and control Monday.

He also said being in full uniform Monday provided a psychological boost.

"It's a good feeling, a good vibe, that I'm slowly approaching to be ready," he said.

While other pitchers are throwing bullpen sessions every two days, Ryu was given double the time to recover, with daily long-toss sessions designed to strengthen his recovering shoulder.

"There are going to be good days and bad days," said Honeycutt. "It's not, 'OK, it's over with, I'm back to where I was. It just doesn't work that way. But today was a good day."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.