According to multiple reports on Saturday morning, Hyun Jin Ryu had successful surgery on his injured pitching arm. Unfortunately the update isn’t all that great, at least for the Blue Jays.
When we learned that Ryu was headed for Tommy John surgery, it was always possible that he had thrown his last pitch as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. However, it sounds like that while Ryu’s surgery went well, the surgeons ended up doing a “full revision” rather than a partial one. I’m not going to pretend that I’m knowledgable about any of this medical jargon, but for the layman like me, a full revision is a more complex surgery that requires additional healing time.
The typical recovery time for Tommy John surgery is usually somewhere in the 12-18 month range, which means even in a best case we’d be looking at a July return for Ryu next season. However, at 35 years old I think it’s probably safe to assume that he’ll be on the longer end of that recovery timeline, and maybe even the full 18 months or longer.
Realistically, unless Ryu is able to return sometime in the next 15 months, then we probably won’t see him on the mound for the Blue Jays again, at least during his current contract. The southpaw signed a four-year, 80 million dollar pact prior to the 2020 season, and that deal comes to an end after the 2023 season.
Our own Jason Lee wrote a great piece earlier this week about what Ryu has meant to the Blue Jays since they signed him 2.5 years ago, and it’s definitely worth a read. By all reports he’s been a great teammate, and his presence in the clubhouse and on the road might be missed as much as his contributions on the field these days.
If this is the last we see of Ryu in a Blue Jay uniform, the South Korean will finish his tenure in Toronto with a 21-12 record, a 4.07 ERA, and a WHIP of 1.217 over the course of 49 regular season starts. More importantly, he was a major part of the helping the Blue Jays transition from a rebuilding team into a contender, and for that I’ll always be a grateful fan even if things didn’t end in a very poetic way.