Due to the recent Covid-19 crisis, Hyun-Jin Ryu and his family were forced to stay in Dunedin, Florida, foregoing a return home to Korea. Here’s an update on how the new Blue Jays ace is doing.
Writer’s note: The information in this article is from an interview posted on YouTube by Lee Young-Mi, one of Korea’s top MLB reporters. Any mistranslations are mine, and mine alone.
Hyun-Jin Ryu was first asked about the current situation of Blue Jays players. According to Ryu, many players decided to return home to their families, while the players who had to stay in Dunedin still train at the complex.
The trainers check for any symptoms prior to every training session and the complex is only open for about three hours a day. At the complex, the players are focusing on maintaining their basic fitness.
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Lee then asked Ryu if the players still went out on the field to warm up and play catch. Ryu responded that while he is avoiding throwing the ball for now, the rest of the starters – Tanner Roark, Matt Shoemaker, Chase Anderson, and Shun Yamaguchi also remained in Dunedin – are maintaining light throwing programs. Furthermore, according to Ryu, both Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire have remained in Dunedin to assist the pitchers and maintain their fitness.
With the uncertainty surrounding the start of the MLB season, Ryu was asked about his training plans for the next few weeks. Ryu said that the players were advised in a team meeting by the Blue Jays to take a step back in their training until more information about the start of the season was announced. Accordingly, Ryu is now focusing his time on cardio and strengthening his core while completely avoiding throwing.
Finally, Ryu was asked how he and his family were faring in the midst of an unexpected crisis. Firstly, Ryu said that because he expected to return to Canada after Spring Training, he didn’t have much food or other long-term supplies ready and had to rely on the Blue Jays’ assistance.
More importantly, Ryu’s wife is 27 weeks pregnant, so much of Ryu’s recent focus has been on figuring out a plan if he and his wife have to have their baby in Florida. According to Ryu, thanks to the help from the Blue Jays organization, he has a Plan A and Plan B in place in case the current situation doesn’t resolve soon.
Ryu ended the interview by encouraging fans to stay strong during these difficult times.