Age in mid-thirties and second elbow ligament joint surgery.
It is natural for a pitcher who meets these two conditions to be more concerned than expected. No matter how good a pitcher is, it is difficult to overcome age and injuries. The gaze toward Toronto Blue Jays Ryu Hyun-jin (36) was the same. After his return, Ryu Hyun-jin’s key was ‘how long he can endure’ rather than ‘how well he will do’.메이저놀이터
Toronto was also cautious. Ryu Hyun-jin was not in a hurry to return. Toronto joined Ryu Hyun-jin at the point of digesting 17 consecutive games without rest days. Toronto, which used a temporary 6-man rotation, implied that it would return to a 5-man rotation after the 17th consecutive game. It meant that someone from the starting lineup had to be left out. If Ryu Hyun-jin does not recover his skills, he could not guarantee that he would remain in the starting lineup. Toronto, too, was not convinced by Ryu Hyun-jin, who underwent a “second elbow ligament joint surgery in his mid-30s.”
Ryu Hyun-jin, who returned against the Baltimore Orioles on the 2nd, gave up 4 runs on 9 hits in 5 innings in his first appearance. It was encouraging that he kept the mound until the middle of the game with stable game management despite the difficulty in the beginning. On the other hand, a slower four-seam fastball (four-seam) and a dull changeup were tasks that needed to be supplemented.
Ryu Hyun-jin continued pitching with no hits in 4 innings against the Cleveland Guardians (8th). However, he was substituted after getting hit in the knee by a pitcher’s assault batted ball. Fortunately, it was not a serious injury. Ryu Hyun-jin, who seemed to have regained his senses in his second appearance, later scored his first victory against the Chicago Cubs (14th) (5 innings, 2 runs scored). And he is on a three-game winning streak. Looking at his three-game performance alone, he pitched 15 innings with two earned runs, with an earned run average of 1.20. During the same period, he is also managing his batting average well at 0.175. Meanwhile, Toronto left Hyun-jin Ryu in the starting lineup and sent Alec Manoa down to the minor leagues. Ryu Hyun-jin survived another competition that he could not avoid at the same time as his return.
Ryu Hyun-jin’s four-seam average velocity is still at 88.5 miles (142.5 km). Adam Wainwright (86 mph) and Kyle Hendricks (87.7 mph) are the only starting pitchers with a slower four-seam average velocity than Ryu Hyun-jin. His four-seam performance was also poor, going 6-for-20 (0.300). However, other weapons offset the weakness of the four-seam. Currently, Ryu Hyun-jin is not only four-seam, but also sinker, cutter, curve, and changeup ratios are all double-digit (four-seam 30.2%, changeup 25.3%, curve 18.6%, sinker 14.6%, cutter 11.3%). It complicates the minds of others with various repertoires. Ryu Hyun-jin gives a different looking effect by changing the speed and trajectory of a single pitch, and in fact, the field analyzed that “Ryu Hyun-jin’s four-seam movement has changed.”
The type of pitch that is attracting attention after returning is definitely the curve. The curve entering while forming a large angle shows a speed difference of about 20 miles (32 km) from the four-seam (average speed of 69.6 miles). The average velocity of the previous pitching curve was 67.4 miles (108.5 km), which was the slowest curve velocity (based on 10 pitches or more) among pitchers this season. For reference, the pitcher who went down to second place in this category by Ryu Hyun-jin, the pitcher who pitched just before, was Ryu Hyun-jin (average 68.8 miles per 21-day curve). In other words, this year Ryu Hyun-jin is embarrassing hitters with a slow curve that hitters have never experienced before.
His changeup is also getting better. After the four-seam, the changeup is still a key pitch for Ryu Hyun-jin. In his first game, he was attacked, but the current changeup hit rate is 0.219 (7 hits in 32 at-bats), which is on the observable side. The changeup swing rate of 30.2% is similar to the changeup swing rate of 29.6% in the 2019 season, when Ryu Hyun-jin was the most dazzling. A changeup in the high 70s average velocity is halfway between a four-seam in the high 80s and a curveball in the high 60s, and should serve as protection for both pitches. Ryu Hyun-jin, who has to steal the timing of batters, can only show his true value when his changeup works for batters.
In the major leagues, pitchers are getting faster and faster. This season’s four-seam average speed of 94.2 miles (151.7 km) is the highest since 2008, when speed measurement began. However, you should be wary of an atmosphere that is obsessed with excessive restraint. The New York Times also criticized the league as the “era of the thrower,” in which pitchers with fast balls but unstable control have rapidly increased. A thrower is a different concept from a pitcher who throws a ball with a purpose.
In an era where restraint is emphasized, Ryu Hyun-jin has returned as a pitcher who goes against the times. In the past, Tom Glavin said, “My passion for baseball is not stamped with a speed gun.” Ryu Hyun-jin is also a pitcher whose speed alone cannot explain everything. And he is proving the value of these pitchers.