Justin Turner and Hyun-Jin Ryu last were Los Angeles Dodgers teammates during the 2019 season, but the two have maintained contact since the left-hander signed a four-year, $80 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Although they no longer play together, Ryu picked Turner when asked to name a best friend. Ryu credited him for being nice during their time on the Dodgers and said they speak occasionally via FaceTime.
When Ryu held the best ERA in baseball and was on pace to set a Dodgers franchise record in 2019, Turner marveled at his ability to escape jams.
“Changing speeds, pitching to all four quadrants, keeping guys off balance. He’s like Houdini, man,” Turner said in August 2019.
“He gets in trouble and he seems to always find a way out of it. I think he’s a prime example of if you locate pitches, change speeds and keep guys off balance, you can get a lot of outs and be very efficient in this game.”
Hyun-jin Ryu says that Justin Turner is his best friend 🥺 pic.twitter.com/KtbkUOIs6d
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) December 28, 2021
Although most considered Clayton Kershaw the de facto leader of the starting rotation at the time, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained at the time he viewed the team as essentially having three aces in Kershaw, Ryu and Walker Buehler.
Ryu’s career with Dodgers
In 126 games (125 starts) with the Dodgers, Ryu compiled a 54-33 record, 2.98 ERA, 3.32 FIP and 1.16 WHIP over 740.1 innings pitched. He overcame an injury-prone perception and has continued to find success with Toronto.
Turner was among those to wish Ryu well after he signed with the Blue Jays.
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