Hyun Jin Ryu saw his 2022 season cut short in mid-June, when a second bout of forearm soreness necessitated Tommy John surgery. Now more than six months removed from that procedure, the former All-Star is on track in his recovery.
Speaking with reporters in his home country of South Korea, Ryu said his rehab process remains on schedule (via Jeeho Yoo of Yonhap News). The veteran starter indicated he hopes he can return to the Jays in July, roughly 13 months after going under the knife. All-Star festivities are scheduled for July 9-13, but a return early in the season’s unofficial second half seems like a rough target date as things stand.
Of course, that’s contingent on future steps in his rehab. Any kind of setback or delay once Ryu returns to throwing could push back that timetable. If all goes well, however, it’s possible he’ll play a role on the Toronto pitching staff for what the team hopes to be another postseason run.
Ryu made just six starts in 2022, allowing a 5.67 ERA across 27 innings. Forearm inflammation cost him a month between April and May and he suffered the setback that required surgery just four starts after his return from that IL stint. Through his first two seasons north of the border, the former ERA leader had a decent amount of success. He posted a 2.69 ERA across 12 starts during the truncated 2020 campaign, securing a third-place finish in AL Cy Young balloting as a result. His 4.37 ERA in 2021 marked a notable step back, but he stayed healthy enough to soak up 169 innings through 31 starts that year.
Toronto has an excellent top of the rotation, with Alek Manoah and Kevin Gausman backed up by offseason signee Chris Bassitt. The Jays are hoping for a bounceback year from José Berríos, who had a disappointing first full season in Toronto but was an above-average pitcher between 2017-21. The fifth spot is up in the air, with neither Yusei Kikuchi nor Mitch White seizing the job. Former top prospect Nate Pearson remains on hand but pitched just 15 1/3 minor league innings in 2022 due to mononucleosis and a lat strain.
Ryu is headed into the final season of the four-year free agent deal he inked during the 2019-20 offseason. He’ll make $20MM before hitting the open market again at the end of the year. Getting back onto the mound and demonstrating his health with a handful of late-season starts would be a nice boost to his stock heading into the 2023-24 offseason.
This one belongs to the Reds
I wish him luck on his return. Really respected him when he played for LA.
Highly underrated. I remember how some here hooted the Dodgers for signing him. Doesn’t throw hard enough to pitch in MLB, etc. Wrong! He could also hit a ball about as hard as anyone. Back when pitchers took swings he was always fun to watch at the plate. You just knew it was only a matter of time before he hit a dinger, and he did.
This one belongs to the Reds
It always amazes me how they put emphasis on MPH over command and control. Greg Maddox wouldn’t light up the radar gun but was arguably one of the best at both.
Probably because it’s a lot easier to scout MPH than command and control. And no one seems to have a magic formula to scoop up all the Greg Maddox types they’re missing.
This one belongs to the Reds
Yeah, all scouts do is sit around watching ball games.
Eyeballs! What good are they?
Greg Maddox had crazy movement and control on pitches which was so elite the velocity didn’t matter. Most guys aren’t capable of getting a ball to drop off all directions the way he did. Might be because pitchers are more focused now on high velocity or maybe he was just a freak of nature. Nothing Maddox threw was straight. Ryu has had the pinpoint control at times but not that elite movement on pitches. Still I would be very happy about Ryu being a number 5 starter in this rotation. I think people forget how good he was his first year in Toronto. If he can get back to that even remotely than what a rotation we will have.
Greg Maddux actually did light up the radar gun for his time when he was young. He was throwing in the mid 90s when few did. That’s how he got his chance, then he got better as he lost velocity but refined control with age. Teams are always hoping control can improve with age, and they know velocity gets worse with age.
But perhaps you’re talking about the mutant genetic experiment that combined DNA from Greg Maddux and Gary Maddox.
His home run was legendary
I wanted the Angels to pick him up instead of pretending to be going after Garrett Cole. Hopefully we can get him in free agency next year if he shows a full recovery.
DeGrom Texas Ranger
Ryu sure about that? Cole is making 16 million more and Ryu is still injured.
Yes, I’m sure about what I said. I even thought about it before I posted it.
Just being snarky! I liked him back then, of course without being able to foresee his injury. But now, if he proves he can get back to form, I think he’d be a good FA pick up for the Angels next year, especially if we lose Ohtani.
He will go down as one of the biggest bandaids and worst deals in Jays history for me. If he can get healthy this season, that would be great but I don’t have any faith at all that he will stay off the IL longer than 2-3 starts. I just want to see his money off the books so they can reallocate it somewhere that will actually help the team.
C Yards Jeff
“worse deal”. His teammate Berrios. Maybe?
BJ Ryan wants a word
What did you do to Ryan?
I think it’s more what did Ryan do to me 😉
I said one of the worst lol, BJ Ryan is on my top ten but Vernon Wells? No hate for that dude at all from me. Plugs the fact that they somehow offloaded that contract was crazy even if all they got was Napoli that got turned into…damn…the reliever from Texas. Let’s list the worst free agent signings ever…
I’ll add Troy Glaus to the discussion.
He only played 2 seasons for the Jays and was an all-star in his first season. Haven’t had my morning coffee but please inspire me on how this was a bad signing for the Jays.
Now, I had my coffee!!! :p
Also to add, the Jays barely gave anything up for this trade.
He had a decent run then injuries kicked in. Once that forearm acts up its usuall a harbinger of a visit to a TJ specialist.
He’ll be back better than ever, certainly better than our 5th rotation pieces
You get that no one wanted to play north of the border on a rebuilding team no less right? Did we pay too much? Yes. Was it a necessity since we had almost no one in the rotation? Absolutely.
very much so, I’ve been a fan 35 years, I know they have to overpay but the Jays have this way of signing guys with injury histories a mile long then acting befuddled when the dude spends most of the deal on the IL. Kiermaier for example, just wait for the crapburger he’s about to serve up.
He had a top five cy young finish. That’s more than most FA contracts provide.
eh,,,,it wasnt great given his injury but he had at least one outstanding season with Toronto and it was only a 4 year deal so its probably not even up there in the top 10. Also, while it doesnt matter to fans as the money wont be reinvested into the payroll, supposedly it was insured so they get a lot of the money back.
Berrios, could be a worse deal, definitely a worse start to the deal, longer deal and less history of ACEness. Springer could end up being suboptimal as well given extensive injuries and is only getting older.
It wasn’t even a bad deal. Ryu’s 2020 was practically worth the deal by itself, leading his young team to the playoffs for their first time when they’d have been sub-.500 without him and the rebuild would’ve gone on who knows how many more years because of it. His 2021 was about adequate for what’s a fairly pedestrian price tag these days. His 2022 was spent mentoring his buddy Alec Manoah, which sure appeared to pay off. Anything he does in 2023 is a bonus, especially since they supposedly found an insurer crazy enough to insure that contract.
As many accolades as Dr. ElAttrache has, he still received his MD from the University of Pittsburg. As a Harvard man, I wouldn’t let him operate on a goldfish let alone a human. Don’t expect Ryu to ever be the same with that public school arm.
im glad your harvard degree has led you to the prestigious position of disparaging a famed doctor on a baseball trade rumor site. Look at you!
Slider doesn’t have any college degree.
The only degree he has is under his pits…maybe
He paid good money for that Harvard degree in the ebay auction, so he has every right to keep it framed on the wall and keep on telling everyone he has a degree.
Mr. Dr. He also completed studies at Notre Dame in 1981.
H E Pennypacker
Bro you can’t even spell “Pittsburgh” correctly.
I’m modern. That’s how we spell it these days.
I had no idea George Santos frequented this site
Did he have full-blown TJS? Or did they do the lesser version where they slap same gaffer tape on the elbow and pray it holds? If it’s the former, he’s not returning in 13 months, and certainly not with any effectiveness. Command takes the longest to return, and he lacks the velocity to overpower batters while his command is iffy. Britton tried to return quickly at the end of last season and he couldn’t throw a strike.
Upvote for the use of “gaffer tape”, can assume which industry you could be associated with!
This one belongs to the Reds
If MacGyver was around, they’d use duct tape.
I may have used gaffer tape during my career. 🙂
I swore I saw he had the internal brace procedure, but all reports are saying it was a regular TJ operation.
It’s also the second time he’s had the surgery — not to mention the labrum repair he had a few years back — so 13 months does seem a bit optimistic. But hey, you never know; I wouldn’t bet against Ryu!
All the stuff about command taking longest to return normally applies for any long-term injury to a pitcher, but Ryu has a lot of experience with those injuries. He’s always been immediately surprisingly effective upon his returns from years long injuries.
Donaldson and cash for Ryu.
Makes a lot of sense.
Jays could throw Donaldson between 1b/3b here and there and DH a fair bit. Yankees get a pitcher down the line who can fill in for any potential injured guys.
They already have Schmidt and German to fill in for potential injuries. Beeter could be called up. I think Gil may be back. Yankees are pretty set rotation wise.
Except the Jays have Gurrero and Chapman at 1B/3b and wouldn’t have any need for Donaldson.
Donaldson is a sunk cost at this point. He was useless in the ALCS.
@Dexxter He’d play there to let them DH. Not a lot though either.
We need a corner outfield version of Donaldson. We’ve got enough utility infielders.
What? He can split time on the Jays between 3rd and 1st and DH?
Third base, where they have Chapman locked in 155 games a year? First base where they have superstar Vlad Guerrero Jr for 155 games a year? DH, where they routinely rotate their catchers and various fielders on rest days (Springer, etc) and they want that spot open for that reason?…
In that trade proposal the Jays are getting rid of Ryu so they can dfa they guy they get back? That’s quite a great deal for the Jays.
Why would that benefit the Jays? Lots of depth and dont need Cashman’s follies
Not a chance. We don’t need that toxic drama king anywhere near this team.
Might have been worth mentioning that he becomes a free agent again in his age 37 season. Ryu has always been a soft-tosser but it’s difficult to see a huge market for a starter in his late 30s and after a TJ especially when he isn’t readily convertible to a reliever.
I’m just waiting for the next Braves trade post
I assumed last year he probably wouldn’t be back at all, playoffs was best case scenario and not exactly a tantalizing idea to get thrown in a playoff game as your first action.
All star break sounds promising. Gives Pearson and Kikuchi time to either steal the 5 spot as their own or let Ryu have a shot in his walk year.
Can never hsve too much starting pitching. If Ryu makes it back in the second half the Jays will find ways to get him innings
This will never happen, but I’d like to see the Brewers trade Eric Lauer for either Ryu/Kikuchi + Espinal and a reliever. If Ryu, the Brewers drop from 6 to 5 starters and hold the possibility that Ryu can give them a shot in the arm midseason for a playoff push. If Kikuchi, they get two full years of possible bounce back at a lower cost. If no bounce back, roll with Houser in the 5.
Either way, Blue Jays get a legit lefty starter and also slide under the tax threshold by dumping on these albatrosses. .
BTV rates Ryu and Kikuchi nearly identical and likes Lauer for either of them + Espinal + a reliever like Pop. Unfortunately, Mark Attanasio likes to walk around with his empty pockets pulled out his pants and hanging sadly along his manly thighs.
Wilmer the Thrillmer
One of the biggest questions of the offseason was what the Jays would do with 3 catchers. Now that that’s answered, what are they going to do with 3 second basemen? (Espinal, Merrifield & Biggio). Is there any hope for a Biggio bounceback? Is he a decent fielding second basenan?
Biggio has a decent glove at second. Can’t play short or third. The outfield is meh. He can sub in at first, then again who can’t. He has options so that’s good and three(?) years of arb. I’m hoping they can move him for a fourth outfielder or a way down the list prospect.
It’s easy to see what they’ll do with 3 second basemen: pray that one of them has a decent season.
Espinal can play second, third, and short. Merrifield can play second, and corner outfield. Biggio is redundant.
The question is whether any of them can hit. Whoever does gets the job.
I can already here Sportsnet staffers preparing the sales pitch to fans for when the jays don’t do enough to improve by the deadline….”Ryu is like a trade deadline addition, that they didn’t have to give anything up to get”