Ryu Hyun-jin, 36, of the Toronto Blue Jays, is close to returning to Major League Baseball (MLB), and now he’ll get a feel for pitching to batters in person.
“Ryu will be pitching live this week with batters on base,” Canadian outlet Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reported on Thursday (Aug. 14), quoting Toronto manager John Schneider as saying on social media.
After undergoing Tommy John surgery (elbow ligament reconstruction) in June of last year, Ryu has been taking things step by step. He dedicated himself to cardio and weight training, and he also worked on his diet, including cutting out late-night snacks. And to everyone’s surprise, he was back in great shape.안전놀이터
In late May, Ryu began pitching out of the bullpen, accelerating his return to the mound. “He looked good,” said Schneider, who watched him pitch. “The goal is to come back in the second half and be a part of the team,” Ryu told MLB.com. This year’s All-Star break is July 11-14, which means there’s still a month to go.
Ryu Hyun-jin. /AFPBBNews=News1
Ryu, who signed a four-year, $80 million contract with Toronto in 2020, went 5-2 with a 2.69 ERA in 12 starts in his first year in the 60-game shortened season. He won 14 games the following year before being lost for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in June after appearing in six games in 2022. At the time of the surgery, there was speculation that he might not return at all for the 2023 season, the final year of his contract.
However, Ryu quietly continued his rehabilitation. He returned to South Korea after the end of last season, but only for a short period of time before returning to the United States to begin his rehabilitation as soon as possible. His recovery is going well, and he’s working hard to get back into the big leagues.
Toronto needs Ryu to get back on track. As of Thursday, the Jays are in fourth place in the American League East with a .544 season winning percentage (37-31). They’re doing much better than the first-place Minnesota Twins (0.507) in the Central, but they’re still fighting an uphill battle in the ‘Group of Death’.
Currently, Toronto’s starting rotation of Kevin Gausman, Chris Bassett, Jose Berrios, and Yusei Kikuchi has been solid. However, Alec Manoa, who won 16 games and posted a 2.24 ERA last year, has been demoted to the minors after struggling to a 6.36 ERA this year. Ryu’s return is necessary to rebuild a solid starting rotation.