‘Hello friend’ Ryu Hyun-jin shows up, could TOR rotation crack?

May 23, 2023 0 Comments

“Hey, buddy.

There’s a familiar face at Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays. The Toronto Blue Jays’ Hyun-jin Ryu is in the midst of his final rehabilitation after undergoing elbow surgery.

The team posted a video on its official Twitter account on April 23, showing Ryu making a “V” with his right hand to greet the camera. On top of that, he wrote the Korean phrase, “Hello friend.

Dunedin, where Ryu is rehabbing, is about an hour’s drive from Tropicana Field. Toronto will play a four-game series against Tampa Bay from today through June 26 먹튀검증. It’s a chance for Ryu to catch up with his teammates.

Ryu underwent left elbow ligament reconstruction, or Tommy John surgery, on June 19 last year in Los Angeles by Dr. Neil Elatrache. Since then, he has been rehabbing at Toronto’s spring training camp in Dunedin.

Ryu is currently working on his bullpen pitching. According to general manager Ross Atkins, Ryu will throw live pitches with batters standing up next month. The next step is a minor league rehab start. His rehab is going well. At the time of his surgery last year, he was scheduled to return in July of this year.

Will there be a spot in the Toronto rotation when he returns?

Toronto is coming off a 4-6 loss to Tampa Bay that snapped a five-game losing streak. They have dropped five games since losing to the New York Yankees on April 19. The Jays have fallen to last place in the AL East, but it’s not because their starting pitching has collapsed, it’s because their bats have gone silent and their bullpen has struggled.

Toronto’s five-man rotation is the best in the AL. The starting order of Alec Manoa (1-4, 5.15), Kevin Gausman (2-3, 3.14), Chris Bassitt (5-3, 3.03), Jose Berrios (3-4, 4.61), and Yusei Kikuchi (5-1, 4.08) has never been shaken until today.

Since May, however, there have been some cracks in the rotation. In four games in May, Manoa has pitched 19 1/3 innings with a 5.59 ERA, 1.91 WHIP, and a .312 batting average. That’s worse than April. He has only two quality starts in 10 games this year. Kikuchi is also struggling, with a 5.59 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, and 0.305 BABIP in 19 1/3 innings in four May starts. He’s been hit by six home runs.

If any of the starters need to be replaced, whether due to injury or poor performance, Ryu could be available after mid-July, i.e. at the start of the second half. However, if their struggles are temporary and stabilize quickly, Ryu may not have much room to slide in.

For now, Manoa is the most likely replacement. Manager John Schneider called for a complete overhaul after Manoa gave up five runs on six hits and seven walks in four innings against the Yankees on April 16. He settled down in his next start, allowing two runs on six hits in 5⅔ innings against the Baltimore Orioles on April 21, but we’ll have to wait and see.

It’s rare for a team to keep its five-man rotation intact from Opening Day to the All-Star break. Toronto will likely reevaluate the rotation and make some form of change by the time Ryu returns.

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