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Blue Jays' Ryu Hyun-jin throws 5 shutout innings in simulated game

By Yonhap

Published : March 22, 2021 - 09:03

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In this USA Today Sports photo via Reuters, Ryu Hyun-jin of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches against the Detroit Tigers in the bottom of the first inning of a major league spring training game at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida, on Monday. (Reuters-Yonhap) In this USA Today Sports photo via Reuters, Ryu Hyun-jin of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches against the Detroit Tigers in the bottom of the first inning of a major league spring training game at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida, on Monday. (Reuters-Yonhap)
Toronto Blue Jays' starter Ryu Hyun-jin has tossed another fine outing in spring training, as he continues to build up nicely for the start of the regular season next week.

Ryu threw five scoreless innings in a simulated game in Dunedin, Florida, on Sunday (local time), the Blue Jays announced. The team said the South Korean left-hander struck out five while making 77 pitches. He gave up three hits and a walk.

Ryu has pitched in just two official spring training games, while mixing in an intrasquad game and a sim game as the Blue Jays are trying to keep him away from the New York Yankees, their American League (AL) East divisional foes that they'll meet 19 times during the regular season.

Ryu, as the undisputed No. 1 starter for Toronto, is fully expected to get the Opening Day nod against the Yankees on April 1, though the Blue Jays haven't made an official announcement on it.

The Blue Jays lost to the Yankees 8-3 in the official preseason game in Dunedin on Sunday. Gerrit Cole, the likely Opening Day starter for the Yankees, held the Blue Jays to a run on four hits and eight strikeouts in five innings in that game.

Ryu has been gradually increasing his pitch count and innings, and could get up to about 100 pitches and six innings in his next spring game.

Ryu, who turns 34 on Thursday, is entering Year 2 of his four-year, US$80 million contract with the Blue Jays. He finished third in the AL Cy Young Award voting in 2020 after going 5-2 with a 2.69 ERA in 12 starts in the abbreviated, 60-game season. (Yonhap)