The Toronto Blue Jays prized offseason acquisition touched back down in Korea yesterday and was greeted by a throng of Korean media who had a plethora of questions for the hurler.
Hyun-Jin Ryu and the Blue Jays made it official this past Friday when the hurler passed his medical and the team introduced their ace to the media at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. After a few days of sightseeing with his wife, Ryu returned to Korea to continue training for the upcoming season.
Ryu was peppered with questions at the airport about the upcoming season and his expectations pitching in the American League East. Here are some excerpts and quotes from Ryu from his Q&A with the Korean media.
"“I don’t think there’s anything I need to change, the most important thing is to make sure I can command the pitches that I already have in my repertoire, If I have good command, then I think I’ll be able to keep the ball in the park.”"
"“I understand I have to live up to those expectations, I think I should at least put up the kind of numbers I had as a rookie (in 2013), I hope I can stay healthy in 2020 just like this year, so I can pitch a full season,” I’ll try to give my team a chance to win every game I start.”"
Ryu made mention that he was going to miss hitting in the National League but was looking forward to Interleague games. He also did not seem fazed when asked about pitching in the homer-happy confines of the Rogers Centre.
"“I think I am going to miss hitting,” Ryu said with a smile. “But we’ll be playing at NL parks (in interleague games) and so if I do get a chance to bat, I’ll do my best.”"
"“I think every stadium is the same, I’ve pitched in Colorado.”"
The big left-hander immediately became the teams ace after agreeing to a 4-year/ $80 million dollar pact and will undoubtedly be the Blue Jays Opening Day starter when the team kicks off the 2020 season on March 26th versus the Boston Red Sox.
Ryu adds a proven track record and some credibility to a much-improved starting rotation coupled with the additions of Tanner Roark and Chase Anderson. The arms are much deeper than in previous seasons and will only get better following the promotion of Nate Pearson in late spring or early summer.
It will be exciting times on Blue Jays Way once again this summer, bring on baseball.