It looks like the Blue Jays will wait until after the trade deadline to activate Hyun Jin Ryu
Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
By Cam Lewis4 months ago
Hyun Jin Ryu’s return from Tommy John surgery is right around the corner.
The 36-year-old lefty has made four rehab appearances in the minors leagues and he’s allowed just three earned runs over 18 innings while striking out 16 batters and walking one. Ryu started with a three-inning appearance in Florida Complex League, advanced to throw four innings with the Low-A Dunedin Blue Jays, and has since progressed to five- and six-inning starts with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons.
There isn’t anything left for Ryu to prove in the minors, so the question now is when the Blue Jays will insert him into their starting rotation. His most recent outing with the Bisons was last Friday, so, based on the six-day schedule that he’s been operating on during his rehab assignment, Ryu would be in line to kick off Toronto’s series with the Los Angeles Angels on Friday.
According to Ben Nicholson-Smith, the Blue Jays don’t plan to have Ryu pitch this weekend against the Angels. Instead, he’ll likely pitch a simulated game during the team’s day off on Thursday and the Blue Jays will assess what’s next after that.
What appears most likely at this point is the Blue Jays wait until after the August 1 trade deadline to activate Ryu. His 30-day rehab assignment comes to an end on August 3 so the Blue Jays are in no rush to add Ryu to the active roster.
There will be a lot of moving parts in the coming days so waiting until after the deadline to add Ryu to both the 40-man roster and the 26-man active roster will give the Blue Jays a more clear picture of who needs to go in order to make room for him. For example, they could make a roster-clearing trade on deadline day rather than designating somebody for assignment now to open the spot for Ryu on the roster.
The Blue Jays will be kicking off a stretch in which they play 17 games in 17 days across three different cities starting with this weekend’s series with the Angels, so it would make sense to put Ryu somewhere in the middle to break things up.
Kevin Gausman is in line to start the Los Angeles series opposite Shohei Ohtani on Friday with Alek Manoah and Jose Berrios set to go on Saturday and Sunday. Chris Bassitt and Yusei Kikuchi would start the first two games of Toronto’s subsequent series with the Baltimore Orioles on July 31 and August 1, and then Ryu could start on August 2 so Gausman would get an extra day of rest before pitching the series finale on August 3.
After a few turns through a six-man starting rotation, the Blue Jays could then decide whether to continue with an extra starter or move somebody to the bullpen. The more options the merrier. You can never have too much pitching depth.
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