According to Daniel Kim of MBC Sports Magazine, Russell Martin has put up Blue Jays hurler Hyun-Jin Ryu and his wife for the time being in their Florida home.
Toronto Blue Jays ace Hyun-Jin Ryu opted to remain in Florida rather than returning to his hometown Korea when the MLB season was postponed due to the Coronavirus. Ryu’s wife is also expecting the couple’s first child, adding an extra layer to their situation.
Martin and Ryu were teammates last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers where the pair would have been a battery together. Martin is still currently without a contract, however, he does have intentions of playing in 2020.
Ryu inked a four-year pact with the Blue Jays this past offseason, the same team Martin played four seasons for between 2015-18. The 32-year old finished second in National League Cy Young voting after going 14-5 with a 2.32 earned run average in 29 starts for the Dodgers last season.
The benefit to Ryu spending the pandemic at Casa de Martin is the pair can get into game shape together. Ryu will also have a catching partner as attempts to remain stretched out during the lay-off. The Blue Jays expect Ryu to anchor the starting staff at the top of the rotation after committing $80 million to him this offseason.
This isn’t the first report of Martin assisting a Jays player this offseason, it was earlier reported that catcher Danny Jansen and Martin had been in contact to discuss Ryu. Martin gave Jansen the scouting report on Ryu’s pitch tendencies and his game plan when he is on the bump.
Martin played 83 games for the Dodgers last season hitting .220/.337/.330 with six home runs. The 37-year old backstop is hopeful for a 15th season in the majors once the league resumes play. The Canadian will presumably look to manage once his playing days officially come to a close.
It is nice to see Martin is still having a positive influence on the Blue Jays organization.