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Better Know Your Blue Jays 40-Man: Hyun Jin Ryu

Chicago White Sox v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

I was going to skip Hyun Jin Ryu, since he’ll be placed on the 60-day IL anytime now, but it is possible he’ll be back before the end of the season.

Hyun Jin Ryu turns 36 in March. The Jays signed him to a four-year, $80 million contract in December 2019. Since then we’ve had:

  • One very good (if Covid shortened) season. 12 starts and a 2.69 ERA.
  • One pretty average season. 31 starts, 4.37 ERA (just slightly better than the league average) and a 14-10 record.
  • And one injury-shortened season. 6 starts, 2-0 with a 5.67 ERA.

And last June he had Tommy John surgery. Just an aside, all the reports, at the time, say ‘successful Tommy John surgery’. I don’t know that we can judge it successful until we see if he can pitch again. It isn’t like a lot of surgeries where it is a success if the patient lives. Tommy John is a success if the pitcher comes back as good as before the injury.

If he doesn’t pitch again, the Blue Jays got a 21-12 record, a 4.07 ERA in 49 starts, 263 innings. That might not seem like enough of a return for $80 million, but then I don’t think we make the playoffs in 2020 (the less said about his start in that Wild Card game the better).

His signing seemed to mark the beginning of a return to good baseball for the Blue Jays. In 2019, the Jays had a .414 winning percentage. They were a bad baseball team. In 2020 they had a .533 winning percentage (in a shortened season).

Anyway, Ryu is talking about a July return. That seems hopeful to me but, if he can pitch at an MLB-average level, he could be handy.

Steamer predicts he’ll get into 14 games, making 2 starts, 21 innings, with a 3.73 ERA.


Will Ryu pitch for the Blue Jays this year?

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