Toronto Blue Jays’ Ryu Hyun-jin (photo) is scheduled to join season’s first training session for major league baseball.
“Ryu Hyun-jin will take the mound against the Detroit Tigers at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Florida on March 26,” reported sports channel Sports Canada, quoting the Blue Jay’s manager Charlie Montoyo.
Ryu will be the last among the Toronto starters to join spring training. Jose Berrios, Alek Manoah and Yusei Kikuchi have all pitched. Kevin Gausman, a likely candidate, will take the mound a day before Ryu with the match with Atlanta.
There were valid reasons behind Ryu’s delayed training. Ryu, who returned to Korea on Oct. 9, had waited for the league to resume. The MLB had been locked down due to delayed negotiations with the players’ union. Five months passed and Ryu had been able to stay in Korea for the longest time since joining the MLB in 2013. He had cancelled plans to return to Toronto after a month of individual training and joined the spring camp of his former Korean league team Hanwha Eagles.
The trade union agreed to sign a collective bargaining agreement on March 11 and set April 8 as the opening date for the regular spring season. Ryu arrived at the TD Ball Park on March 16. He made his first live pitch on March 20 and will take the mound on the 26th. He is predicted to pitch two innings for the first match.
There should be no burdens for Ryu on the delay. Ryu, who joined the Toronto Blue Jays in 2020, had been the ace player until the last season. Robbie Ray, however, served as the first pitcher last year. Though Ray left team, the Blue Jays extended its contract with Berrios signed with Gausman. Ryu would start the regular season as the third player. “The order isn’t important. Personally, I always aim for ERAs in the two-point range,” said Ryu. “The same goal applies for the new season.”
Bae-Jung Kim email@example.com