It’s the Korean Monster. Ryu Hyun-jin (36-Toronto Blue Jays) went from making his first start in 398 days to changing his team’s trade plans.
Ryu Hyun-jin made his first rehabilitation appearance in a rookie league game against the FCL Tigers (a minor league team affiliated with the Detroit Tigers) at the Toronto Blue Jays’ spring training facility in Dunedin, Florida, on May 5. It was his first game since undergoing Tommy John surgery (elbow ligament reconstruction) last year and his first appearance on a live mound in 398 days.
As expected, Ryu stood out with his steady pitching. He faced 13 batters on 42 pitches, allowing one run on three hits and four walks with five strikeouts. His fastball touched 89 miles per hour (about 141.6 kilometers per hour) as he continues to improve. If the rest of his rehab goes well, he’s expected to return to the majors later this month.
For Toronto, Ryu’s return could revitalize their starting rotation. Currently, the team has four professional starters in Kevin Gausman (32), Jose Berrios (29), Chris Bassitt (34), and Yusei Kikuchi (32), with the fifth spot being used on bullpen days. Young gun Alec Manoa (25) is set to return to the big leagues after an adjustment period in the minors, but there is a question mark over whether he has improved his performance this season, which has been wildly erratic.
As the situation continued, local Canadian media outlets such as Sportsnet recently emphasized the need to bolster Toronto’s starting pitching staff and mentioned the possibility of a trade. Specific names of candidates such as Ben Lively (31-Cincinnati Reds) and Chase Anderson (36-Colorado Rockies), who played for the Samsung Lions in the KBO from 2019 to 2021, were mentioned, raising the speculation of a trade.
However, with Ryu returning healthy, the trade speculation is expected to subside. “Ryu and Manoah could change Toronto’s trade plans,” wrote Yahoo Sports.
The team currently has a four-man starting rotation, but would like to eventually have six starters. The two open spots are for Manoa, who could return to form, and Ryu, who could return healthy.
“If there are no setbacks (in his rehab), Ryu will join the starting staff later this month,” the source said. “Ryu has lost 30 pounds (about 13.6 kilograms) to return to the big leagues after the All-Star break, signaling his intention to return as a starter later in the season. He’s unlikely to be used as a multi-inning reliever or long reliever. Toronto’s six-man rotation will provide ample rest for all of its starters.”바카라사이트
Ryu Hyun-jin has been impressive in his first rehab start, raising hopes that he will be able to earn a spot in the starting lineup.
Keegan Matheson, who covers Toronto for MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, recently wrote, “I thought Ryu’s pitching would be a bonus for the team at the start of the 2023 season, but now it looks like he’s going to be able to pitch some pretty significant innings.” Ryu’s return will have a positive impact on the team.
He’s been a presence from the get-go, and it’ll be interesting to see if he can lead the team to the postseason, and if he can add some spark to Toronto’s mound after a 13-month absence.