Hyun-Jin Ryu takes another step forward

PHOENIX – Hyun-Jin Ryu threw two simulated innings against Juan Uribe and Drew Butera and then spent some time practicing covering first base to test his strained buttock muscle. Afterward, the Dodgers said he is on track to be activated from the 15-day disabled list in the next four or five days.

“Everything seemed to go well,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “I think everybody was happy with the way it looked. Tomorrow, if he bounces back good, we’ll make a decision. At this point, it’ll either be Sunday or Monday.”

The advantage of using Ryu on Monday is that the Dodgers wouldn’t need to make a roster move to get him on the roster, because rosters can expand beyond 25 players on Sept. 1. The disadvantage would be that Roberto Hernandez would have to pitch to the San Diego Padres, against whom he has a 4.09 ERA. Hernandez has a 1.19 ERA against the Washington Nationals, the team the Dodgers face Monday.

Ryu said through an interpreter Tuesday that he felt no pain and his shoulder "feels fine and my arm feels good.”