“RYU more favorable to TOR than Kikuchi”…Concerns? No more! Expectations grow for Ryu with 2 wins and a 1.89 ERA

August 24, 2023 0 Comments

“Ryu Hyun-jin is good news for Toronto rotation”

The Toronto Blue Jays appeared to be looking to bolster their starting rotation before the Major League Baseball trade deadline on August 2. General manager Ross Atkins had been vocal about the need to bolster the starting rotation, and the local media had been making the case that the team needed to do so to punch its ticket to the postseason.메이저놀이터

And for good reason. Alex Manoa, who started 31 games and pitched 196⅔ innings last year, going 16-7 with a 2.27 ERA and vying for the American League’s Cy Young Award, suffered an extreme slump that saw him demoted to the minors, and there was no guarantee that Hyun-jin Ryu, who had Tommy John surgery, would regain his form upon his return.

However, Toronto didn’t make any moves to bolster their starting rotation before the trade deadline. That’s because of the “promise” Ryu had shown in the minors. Ryu threw three innings of one-run ball in Rookie ball, his first appearance since undergoing Tommy John surgery on May 5, followed by four scoreless innings in Single-A, five scoreless innings in Triple-A, and two scoreless innings in Double-A.

While still in the minors, Ryu’s performance was too good for Toronto to ignore, as he went 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA in 18 innings pitched in four games as he gradually increased his innings, pitches, and velocity. As a result, the Blue Jays decided to invest in their bullpen rather than their starting rotation, and it worked out perfectly.

On February 2, Ryu made his comeback against the Baltimore Orioles, the “powerhouse” team in first place in the American League East, and suffered his first loss after giving up four runs (four earned) in five innings. The result was disappointing, and the pitching was a far cry from his performance in the minors. But the concerns didn’t last long.

Ryu hasn’t pitched many innings due to the variable of being hit with a 97.7 mph fastball on the inside of his right knee, but he did throw a four-inning “no-hitter” against the Cleveland Indians on Aug. 8. After watching Ryu’s perfect second start, Toronto decided to send Manoa down to the minors and give Ryu a spot in the starting rotation at the end of the 17-game series.

Hyun-jin Ryu was the perfect fit for Toronto. Ryu earned his first win of the season in 444 days on Thursday, tossing five innings of two-hit, two-strikeout, two-run ball (unearned) against the Chicago Cubs, who are in a tight race for a postseason berth. His fourth start against the Cubs was also one of his best, despite not getting much help from his defense.

Against the Cincinnati Reds, a team that has been in a tight race with the Cubs since the prospect talent explosion of July 21, Ryu mixed a four-seam fastball, his “main weapon” changeup, a cutter, and a very slow curveball in the mid-100s with five innings of four-hit ball, one walk, seven strikeouts, and two runs (unearned) to extend his winning streak to two games. While he has yet to pitch six innings, he has a 1.89 ERA in four starts.

The sudden downturn has left Toronto, which seemed to have no problem making the postseason before Ryu’s return, in a situation where fall baseball is far from assured. However, with the return of Ryu, who perfectly fills the void left by Manoa, who has been a “worrying factor,” the Rays are now in the clear. The locals are now looking forward to Ryu’s return.

“Chad Green threw a scoreless inning in his latest Triple-A rehab start,” writes The Athletic. He’s nearing the end of his rehab assignment, and it looks like he’ll be joining the team soon. “Green will be a force in the bullpen and a key piece when he returns,” and “A healthy and performing Hyun-Jin Ryu is a welcome addition to a Toronto rotation that is peaking at a critical time.

Ryu will be eligible for free agency once again after this season, when his four-year, $80 million contract with Toronto expires. If Ryu continues to help Toronto reach the postseason, he will be able to overcome the year-long hiatus and his advanced age to earn another lucrative contract.

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