Blue Jays left-handed starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu underwent successful Tommy John surgery, the Blue Jays told reporters on Saturday (via Mitch Bannon). The club had considered a revision to his previous Tommy John surgery — which came all the way back in 2004 — but instead opted for a full procedure. Ryu, barring setbacks, will be sidelined for the next 12-to-18 months, which is the standard recovery period.
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 in 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.