Ryu set to return to Blue Jays rotation Tuesday |


TORONTO – Hyun-Jin Ryu is coming back.

Blue Jays manager John Schneider announced Friday that Ryu will make his long-awaited return to Toronto’s rotation Tuesday against the Baltimore Orioles. Ryu will have no cap on his pitch count in his first start in majors since having Tommy John surgery in June 2022.

“He’s ready to roll,” said Schneider, adding that Ryu will throw off the mound one more time before the start against the Orioles. “Push the ‘Go’ button and don’t look back.”

Ryu signed with the Blue Jays as a free agent in December 2019. He had an immediate, positive impact with Toronto, putting up a 5-2 record with a 2.69 earned-run average and 72 strikeouts in 12 games in 2020.

His impressive performance in the season shortened by COVID-19 saw him finish third in voting for the American League Cy Young Award, and won the Warren Spahn Award as the best left-handed pitcher in MLB.

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“He was arguably one of the best pitchers in the league that year,” said Schneider. “He was awesome.”

Ryu was solid the next year, going 14-10 with a 4.37 ERA and 143 strikeouts over 31 games. He struggled through his six starts in 2022, earning just two wins with a 5.67 ERA before undergoing the second Tommy John surgery of his career last summer.

It can take up to 18 months to recover from that kind of operation, but Schneider said Ryu’s relatively quick recovery at the age of 36 speaks to the South Korean’s dedication.

“He attacked it from Day 1 when he was up here last year,” said Schneider. “Given his age and that it’s his second (surgery), it’s pretty remarkable what he’s done.

“He’s got a great feel for pitching and total professional in the way he went about his rehab. Not that he’s ahead of schedule, but we were pleasantly surprised with everything that he did.”

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Ryu’s return means Toronto will switch to a six-man rotation in time for a critical stretch of games. The Blue Jays host the Los Angeles Angels this weekend, with both teams in the hunt for an AL wild-card berth.

Toronto then hosts the AL East-leading Orioles for a four-game series prior to facing the Red Sox in Boston.

“I think (a six-man rotation) helps, any time you get an extra day of rest for the starter, it’s a good thing,” said Schneider in his office before the series opener against L.A. “Once we get through it a time or two, we’ll see where we’re at, how the bullpen responds, things like that.

“I think it’s awesome this time of year.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 28, 2023.

&copy 2023 The Canadian Press


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