“I could have never pitched again in Toronto…”
Ryu Hyun-jin (36, Toronto Blue Jays) made a successful soft landing after a year and two months of rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery. He will be back in action against the Colorado Rockies in the 2023 Major League Baseball World Series at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado, on April 2. Ryu joins them in the pitchers’ graveyard, going 1-4 with a 7.09 ERA in seven appearances for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
However, Ryu has been on a better-than-expected pace since his return. In five starts, he’s 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA. The conventional wisdom is that it’s nearly impossible to return to form immediately after Tommy John surgery. It’s not just that pitchers don’t get back their feel for their pitches right away.
In that regard, the industry consensus is that Ryu is a natural. Instead, he surprised people once again with his ultra-slow curveball. The Jays Journal, which covers Toronto on FanSided, also reported on the 1st that “The standard recovery time for Tommy John surgery is 12 to 18 months. There was a good chance that Ryu would never pitch for Toronto again.”
The Jays Journal briefly reviewed Ryu’s progress since signing a four-year, $80 million contract in December 2019. “Four years of ups and downs,” it said. Toronto won’t get the full $80 million back anyway. Instead, it’s important to make the most of Ryu’s remaining five or six regular-season starts and try to reach the postseason for the second straight year.
Ryu has yet to throw a quality start since his return. He’s been hit by a pitch once, left abruptly with an injury, limited his pitches on the bench a few times, and intentionally activated his bullpen early. It’s not like Ryu has shown anything that would prevent him from getting a quality start. He should be able to pitch a quality start anytime.바카라사이트
If Ryu continues to be solid in September, there’s no reason Toronto shouldn’t try to re-sign him in free agency in 2023-2024. He has a history of injuries and is getting older. It’s hard to see him getting more than a year or two. However, given these variables, Ryu could be an attractive option for a 4-5 starter.
As Jays Journal notes, “There are a few question marks in the 2024 starting rotation. The most obvious is Alec Manoa, but Ryu’s strong play this season means he’s made a re-signing a real possibility.” We’ll find out if Toronto will re-sign Ryu at the end of the season.