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Blue Jays' Ryu Hyun-jin to return from injury on weekend

May 11, 2022 - 09:21 By Yonhap
In this Getty Images photo, Ryu Hyun-jin of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches against the Texas Rangers in the top of the first inning of a Major League Baseball regular season game at Rogers Centre in Toronto on April 10. (Yonhap)

The Toronto Blue Jays' South Korean starter Ryu Hyun-jin is scheduled to return to the mound after missing the past few weeks with left arm problems.

Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo told reporters in New York on Tuesday (local time), before a game against the Yankees, that Ryu was on track to start against the Tampa Bay Rays on the road Saturday.

The game begins 6:10 p.m. Saturday at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, or 7:10 a.m. Sunday (Korean time).

Ryu was placed on the 10-day injured list on April 17 with left forearm inflammation. He first reported soreness during his second start of the season the previous day, when he was charged with five earned runs on six hits in four innings against the Oakland Athletics.

Ryu had also been hit hard in his season debut on April 10 against the Texas Rangers, serving up six earned runs on five hits in 3 1/3 innings.

Ryu recently pitched in a Triple-A game during his rehab, and reported no ill effects after making 74 pitches.

Swingman Ross Stripling took up Ryu's spot in the five-man rotation during the South Korean's absence. The Blue Jays may use Stripling in a "piggyback" role in Ryu's first start, meaning they will only ask Ryu to eat up a couple of early innings and have Stripling follow Ryu immediately for multiple frames.

Ryu's start would come in the second game of the first three-game series between the Blue Jays and the Rays, and also the first opportunity for an all-Korean pitcher-batter duel between Ryu and Tampa Bay's first baseman Choi Ji-man.

Choi, who bats left-handed, is often benched against left-handers. They have met once before in the big leagues, with Choi batting 1-for-3 with a double on May 23, 2021. (Yonhap)