By Yoo Jee-ho
SEOUL, April 14 (Yonhap) -- Toronto Blue Jays' South Korean left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin will likely make his next start on extra rest, with the club mulling a six-man rotation in the midst of a jam-packed early season schedule.
Before the Blue Jays took on the New York Yankees in New York on Wednesday (local time), Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo told reporters that the team may give swingman Ross Stripling a start on Friday.
If Stripling, who has pitched two innings in relief so far this season, isn't needed much in the final two games of the series against the Yankees, then he could start Friday at home against the Oakland Athletics.
"Stripling would be the guy we'd turn to because he's stretched out," Montoyo was quoted as saying by Sportsnet.ca.
The Blue Jays' five-man rotation completed its first turn on Tuesday, and only Alek Manoah, their No. 4 starter, has made it past five innings. He is also the only Toronto starter to have earned a win.
Ryu, No. 3 guy behind Jose Berrios and Kevin Gausman, was roughed up for six earned runs on five hits and two walks in 3 1/3 innings against the Texas Rangers in his season debut on Sunday. He surrendered four consecutive hits, all of them with an exit velocity of over 100 miles per hour, in the disastrous fourth inning at Rogers Centre in Toronto, as the Rangers turned a 6-1 deficit into a 7-6 lead en route to a 12-6 victory.
Ryu had been lined up to start Friday but his outing will instead fall on Saturday if Stripling does make his spot start.
That will give Ryu five days of rest in between his outings. In 2021, Ryu went 6-4 with a 3.23 ERA in 11 starts he made on five days' rest, compared to a 5-3 record and a 5.48 ERA in 13 starts following four days of break.
When Ryu rested for six or more days in between starts last year, he went 3-3 with a 4.35 ERA in seven outings.
Stripling started 19 of his 24 games for the Blue Jays last year. He was 5-7 with a 4.80 ERA overall, and 5-6 with a 4.69 ERA as a starter.
The Blue Jays will play 30 games in 31 days to start this season. To account for the condensed spring training following a leaguewide lockout, Major League Baseball is allowing teams to have an expanded, 28-man roster through May 1. With starters having had less time than usual to get stretched out before the regular season, teams are carrying extra relievers. The Blue Jays, for instance, have 10 relievers on their 15-man pitching staff.
After May 1, rosters will be whittled down to the normal 26 players, with a 13-pitcher limit for every team.
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