Toronto Blue Jays: Hyun Jin Ryu to have spring training despite lockout

Sep 28, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Hyun Jin Ryu (99) during the fifth inning against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 28, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Hyun Jin Ryu (99) during the fifth inning against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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There are signs that the MLB lockout is going to come to an end in the somewhat near future. The two sides are talking and progress is being made. However, there is no guarantee that spring training will start on time, something that could affect the players in the early part of the season. This is something that Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Hyun Jin Ryu has found a way around.

Regardless of whether or not spring training starts on time for major league players, Ryu will not need to worry. He is set to head to South Korea and train with the Hanwha Eagles, his former KBO team.

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu has spring training anyway

If spring training is pushed back, even if it is just a week or two, Ryu could have an advantage at the start of the season. While other players would still be working out the kinks, he would be at his usual pace to start the season, giving him that much more of an advantage.

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The Blue Jays have to hope that will make a difference for Ryu in 2022. After an excellent first season in Toronto, he struggled last year, posting a 4.37 ERA and a 1.225 WHiP in his 169 innings, striking out just 143 batters with 43 walks. His 7.6 K/9 rate was his lowest mark since his rookie campaign in 2013 while he posted his highest ERA of any full major league season.

It is possible that his performance in 2021 was an aberration. After all, plenty of players struggled with the full season after the pandemic shortened 2020 campaign. Ryu was simply one of them.

But the Blue Jays need that to just be one fluke year. Their postseason aspirations will depend on Ryu being able to return to form, providing them with another top of the rotation arm to pair with Jose Berrios. That is especially the case now that Robbie Ray has left, creating a large void in the rotation. This early start to spring training could be exactly why Ryu needs.

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Hyun Jin Ryu is going to get a full spring training one way or another. The Toronto Blue Jays pitcher will join his former KBO team to get ready.