Blue Jays’ Ryu Hyun-jin wins award for best left-hander in MLB

December 22, 2020

The Toronto Blue Jays’ South Korean ace Ryu Hyun-jin has been named the best left-handed pitcher in the majors for 2020.

Ryu was announced as the winner of the Warren Spahn Award on Monday (U.S. local time). Presented annually by the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame to the best left-hander in Major League Baseball (MLB), the award bears the name of Warren Spahn, who holds the record for most wins by a lefty with 363. Ryu is the first Asian-born pitcher to win the award.

In his first season with the Blue Jays after seven years as a Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher, Ryu finished third in the American League (AL) Cy Young Award voting. In the truncated, 60-game season, Ryu went 5-2 in 12 starts with a 2.69 ERA, with 72 strikeouts and 17 walks in 67 innings.

Among all qualified left-handers, Ryu ranked second in strikeouts and ERA, and was tied for third in wins.

“Despite the difficulties of the COVID(-19) pandemic, Hyun-jin Ryu had a stellar year on the mound that was certainly worthy of this honor,” Warren Spahn Award Committee co-chairman Chuck Shirley said in a release.

The award was created in 1999. Past winners include current and future Hall of Famers such as Randy Johnson and Clayton Kershaw, and Cy Young Award winners CC Sabathia, Johan Santana, David Price, Dallas Keuchel and Blake Snell.