“Hyun-Jin Ryu is an option, but…” Toronto has the 2nd best pitching staff in the PS…no place for Hyun-Jin Ryu in the WC
The Toronto Blue Jays have the second-strongest pitching staff of any team in the postseason this season.
Major League Baseball wrapped up its regular season schedule on Sunday. In the American League, Baltimore, Houston, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Texas, and Toronto have earned postseason berths, while in the National League, Atlanta, the Dodgers, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Miami, and Arizona are set for fall baseball.
MLB.com, the official site of Major League Baseball, ranked the hitting and pitching staffs of the 12 postseason teams. Atlanta tops the list at the plate, while Milwaukee is first on the mound.
Toronto, with Ryu Hyun-jin, was ranked eighth in hitting and second in pitching, with its strength on the mound. With an 89-73 record and a .549 winning percentage, the Jays finished third in the American League Wild Card, tied for 14th in team runs scored (746) and sixth in runs allowed (671) among the 30 clubs in the majors.
MLB.com called the Jays’ offense “perhaps the most disappointing lineup in the majors this year,” adding, “The Jays have a number of talented players and seemed to have improved their offseason power balance. But after finishing second in team runs scored last season, the Jays’ offense has been wildly up and down this year, falling to the middle of the pack. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has had a disappointing season, while Matt Chapman and George Springer have struggled to produce runs. However, we can’t rule out the possibility of the Toronto bats breaking out when it matters most.”
Despite the batting struggles, Toronto has been strong on the mound. MLB.com writes, “Despite the disastrous outing by Opening Day starter Alec Manoa, Toronto has the most solid starting rotation of any postseason team. Toronto is the only team in the majors with four pitchers (Chris Bassett, Jose Berrios, Kevin Gausman, 먹튀검증 and Yusei Kikuchi) who have logged 160 or more innings, and all four have been above league average,” praised the Toronto pitching staff. “Hyun-jin Ryu returned from injury to show that he can be another option. His return allows Toronto to take some pressure off a bullpen that really improved with the in-season acquisition of Jordan Hicks.”
It’s still unclear what role Ryu will play in the postseason after returning from injury. After undergoing Tommy John surgery last June and rehabbing for nearly 13 months, Ryu had a successful comeback season, going 3-3 with a 3.46 ERA in 11 games (52 innings) this season. However, his last two starts of the season both came against Tampa Bay, where he allowed seven runs in 7 1/3 innings. Toronto will likely go with a Gaussman-Berrios-Bassett starting rotation for the Wild Card Series against Minnesota. Without much bullpen experience, Hyun-jin Ryu will likely be left off the roster for the Wild Card Series.
In nine postseason appearances (41⅔ innings), Ryu is 3-3 with a 4.54 ERA. While he was very good in fall ball with the Dodgers, his only postseason appearance with Toronto came in Game 2 of the 2020 Wild Card Series, when he allowed seven runs (three earned) on eight hits (two home runs) with one walk and three strikeouts in 1⅔ innings against Tampa Bay.
With his four-year, $80 million contract with Toronto coming to an end this year, fans will be eager to see if Ryu can fulfill his role on the postseason stage and end his final season with Toronto on a high note.