Blue Jays left-handed starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu will have surgery on his throwing elbow and is out for the season, the Blue Jays told reporters Tuesday (via TSN). The extent of the surgery isn’t yet known, as it could be a revision to his previous Tommy John surgery — which came all the way back in 2004 — or full-on Tommy John surgery.
Regardless, Ryu’s 2022 season is over and he’ll have a long road back, especially if the full procedure ends up being the route taken with his elbow.
Ryu, 35, will be in the final season of a four-year, $80 million deal in 2023. While battling injuries pretty much from the start of this season, he posted a 5.67 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in six starts with 16 strikeouts against four walks in 27 innings. Opponents hit .294 with a .541 slugging percentage against him this year and it was evident from the beginning something was wrong, as he gave up six runs on five hits in 3 1/3 innings in his first start.
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The good news for the Blue Jays is they can absorb this blow. The five-man rotation right now is comprised of Kevin Gausman, Alek Manoah, José Berríos, Yusei Kikuchi and Ross Stripling. Stripling entered the season as the swing-man who started in relief, but he’s been good as a starter, especially his last two outings (zero runs on two hits in 11 innings).
The Blue Jays enter Tuesday at 36-24, which is good for the top AL wild card spot, but also eight games behind the Yankees in the AL East.