Former Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo often used the phrase “vintage” whenever the team’s then-ace, Hyun-jin Ryu, 36, pitched well. It’s the highest form of praise. That’s why the Toronto media also uses the word whenever Ryu pitches well.
We haven’t seen it in a while. That’s because Ryu was off the field. Ryu underwent Tommy John surgery to repair his elbow ligaments in June 2022. He was unable to overcome the elbow pain that had been bothering him for some time. Considering that Tommy John surgery typically takes 14 to 18 months to rehabilitate, it’s no wonder there were concerns that Ryu’s Toronto career might be over.
However, after working hard and minimizing his rehabilitation time, Hyun-jin Ryu is slowly getting back to his old self. In an emotional comeback start against Baltimore on Feb. 2, Ryu gave up four runs in five innings. On the surface, it wasn’t a great performance, but three of the four runs came in the first and second innings, when the tension wasn’t as high, and the third through fifth innings were when he settled down and cooked the Baltimore offense.
Then, on Aug. 8 against Cleveland, he proved he was slowly getting back on track with four scoreless innings of one-hit ball, striking out two. He didn’t make it to the fifth inning after being hit by a pitch in the fourth, but he threw just 52 pitches over four innings. It was encouraging to see that his changeup, which he struggled with in the first game, was slowly coming back to life.
The knee bruise caught everyone by surprise, but we’re glad it wasn’t a major injury. Toronto manager John Schneider also expressed relief at Ryu’s condition and praised his pitches. The local media and broadcasters were equally enthusiastic, praising the return of ‘vintage Ryu’.
“Ryu seems to be finding his groove,” Sportsnet, Toronto’s main broadcasting organization, said before Ryu went down with the injury, “and today he looked like vintage Ryu.”
With Toronto sitting third in the American League East, chasing first and second place, and in the thick of the wild-card race, Ryu’s return to form was crucial. After a year and a half away from the game, he was surprised and pleased to find his form after just two games.
Ryu’s shoulders are even heavier. Toronto used Hyun-jin Ryu three times during the 17-game road trip to create a temporary six-man rotation to give the five starters (Kevin Gausman, Jose Berrios, Yusei Kikuchi, Chris Bassett, and Alec Manoa) an extra day of rest after pitching so heavily on such a demanding schedule. But after the Cubs game on Thursday, the 17-game series is over. There’s no reason to stick with the six-man rotation any longer. It would be a waste of roster space.
We’re missing a player. It’s right-hander Alec Manoa, who went from an American League Cy Young Award candidate last year to an abject failure this year. After a rebalancing stint in the rookie system and a promotion back up, he couldn’t find his groove, so Toronto pulled the knife again. They sent him back down to the minors on the 11th to make adjustments. Given the timing and Toronto’s rotation, some might argue that this is more of a long-term move for next year and beyond than this year.
What’s clear is that Ryu is now in a normal starting rotation. He has to do Manoa’s job. His performance on Thursday against the Chicago Cubs is also important. Ryu is a veteran with a lot to prove throughout his career, but proving that he has the ability to overcome the after-effects of elbow surgery is another matter.
As he makes his third start at the familiar Rogers Centre, the Cubs aren’t a bad memory for Ryu. In four career starts, he’s 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA. But those are old records. He hasn’t faced the Cubs since his trade to Toronto, which means it’s been a while. As a result, few of the Cubs hitters I faced back then are still around. It’s like facing a new team.카지노사이트
He doesn’t live and die by his fastball, but we’ll have to see how much of it has returned. Ryu at 90 mph and Ryu at 88 mph used to produce very different results. It will be interesting to see how sharp his cutter is, as well as the combination of his changeup and curveball. Ryu’s last major league win came on May 27, 2022, against the Los Angeles Angels.