TORONTO manager Charlie Montoyo officially named left-handed Hyun Jin Ryu as the starter of the Blue Jays 2021 on the opening day after his last start in the Grapefruit League in spring on Friday, to the surprise of no one.
Toronto’s clear and undisputed thing Ace wins the bid for the second year in a row, having finished third in the American League’s Cy Young Award poll in 2020 with an ERA of 2.69. The obvious decision was an easy one for Montoyo.
« Of course we thought so from the start, » said Montoyo, « but you have to see how everything goes in spring training, what his starts would be like and what progress he has made. Now since he went out of his way to get to this place, I can easily announce that he will be our opening starter. «
Montoyo’s analysis for a good getaway from Ryu is, » He looked like Ryu. » This is what the Blue Jays need in the year 21. This rotating image could look very different as the season progresses, especially as we near the close of trade on July 31, but the Blue Jays need Ryu at his best. When he misses time or fights that nobody expects, his caliber of innings is hard to replace.
In Friday’s 6-5 win over the Phillies in a walkoff single by Richard Ureña, Ryu allowed eight hits over four Innings of a triple ball and hit five. Ryu actually left the third inning early to avoid throwing too many pitches in one frame, and re-entered for the fourth and part of the fifth. But all that matters to the ace at this point in the spring is his workload. Mission accomplished when Ryu hit up to 89 spaces before throwing a few more in the bullpen and is exactly where he wants to lead on opening day.
« I think everything went according to plan, » said Ryu through one Team translator. “I’ve been accumulating my pitches and I think I’m on the right track right now. I knew exactly how much I wanted to bring into tonight’s game too, so I think I’m pretty well ready for the season. “
Panic Cracks Opening Roster The Blue Jays announced on Friday that veteran infielder Joe Panik had created the opening roster. Panik, who opted out in his minor league contract on Thursday, will be the club’s primary midfielder, bringing value to the clubhouse where he works with the young core. This spring, Panik was most impressed by the increased attention to detail this group showed.
« That will get you far in October, » said Panik. “Of course we have the talent to get through October, but the point is to get deep into October. I think the guys are really serious about doing the little things here. “
The Blue Jays saw the Rays take on the Dodgers in the AL Wild Card Series this past season. When the games got close in October, the Rays did not always manage to overwhelm the opponents with their talent, but instead did everything right and avoid harm they inflicted. This is the next step for Toronto’s talented squad, especially on the defensive.
Given the experience of panic in second place where he won a Gold Glove Award with the Giants, he was more focused on third this spring Base and the shortstop. He’s also Montoyo’s emergency catcher and recently caught some balls off a machine just in case he’s asked to.
Vlad launches a laser Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s big spring came on Friday with a frozen rope over his left Field wall continued. On a 3-0 spot, Guerrero let it crash, producing an exit speed of 114.4 mph. It wasn’t high, but if you hit it that hard, it doesn’t have to be.
Merryweather is making his Grapefruit League debut
One of the most encouraging takeaways on Friday was the Grapefruit League debut of Julian Merryweather, who used to throw at camp outside of the game and missed some time with lower back bottlenecks. The 29-year-old right-handed went for a walk but threw a goalless inning.
Merryweather was up to 98.2 mph with his fastball, which was consistently close to 97 mph, and his high-80 slider shows still wipeout potential. At the start of camp, the Blue Jays planned to « stretch » Merryweather, but that one-on-two-inning roll has always been his most sensible landing spot. If he can stay healthy, Merryweather is an underrated bullpen piece.
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