Monday Sep 25, 2023

Ryu Hyun-jin’s new weapon, a slow curveball…and MLB is impressed

“What a player.”

The ‘Monster’ is off to an uncharacteristic start. Ryu Hyun-jin (36-Toronto Blue Jays) picked up another win. On July 27, the right-hander pitched five innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits (two home runs) against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Picked up his third win of the season (1-1) in the team’s 8-3 victory. Won three games in a row. The first time in about two years and three months since May 2021. However, his season ERA increased slightly to 2.25 from 1.89.

More, slower

The big leagues are full of fastball types. Ryu hasn’t always been a hard-throwing pitcher; he’s used to hitting all corners of the strike zone with his offspeed pitches. After returning from elbow ligament reconstruction surgery last year (Tommy John surgery), his velocity slowed down. His fastball only reached a high of 146 kilometers and an average of 142 kilometers. Still, opposing hitters have been unable to capitalize. The perceived velocity is much higher. Toronto manager John Schneider said, “Ryu is a great player.”

The new weapon is definitely the slower curveball. His average curveball velocity this season is 112.8 kilometers, the lowest in the big leagues (342nd). Don’t underestimate him. His batting average is just 0.111. His velocity is low, but his movement is high. His curve has 70.6 inches of vertical movement (per Statcast). His strikeout rate is similar to previous years (18.6%), but he shines when it counts. On this particular day, he induced a swinging strikeout of Andres Jimenez. It was a 104 mph curveball, the slowest in the big leagues.

More, amazingly

No question marks can stop Ryu Hyun-jin. A pile of surgeries and an age approaching his mid-to-late 30s. The local outlook for Ryu’s return wasn’t promising. Some thought he might be relegated to the role of opener instead of the starting rotation. On August 8, he had a no-hitter until the fourth inning against Bleveland, when he was hit in the leg by a pitch and had to be replaced. Ryu rose to the occasion. For the season, Ryu has a .211 batting average and a 1.00 walks allowed per inning (WHIP).

Not to mention, he’s the centerpiece of the team in times of need. Today was no different, as he snapped the team’s three-game losing streak and set the stage for a turnaround. In a lone battle, he failed to record his first quality start of the season (6+ innings, 3 earned runs or less). He cruised through the fifth inning with 60 pitches. He took the mound in the sixth inning, but was unable to close out the game due to a series of errors from the outfield. At his current pace, he could be looking at a QS or better soon. It’s a good sign for Toronto as they move towards fall baseball.바카라사이트

More, healthier

The praise for Ryu’s pitching continues to pour in. MLB pitching analyst Rob Friedman said, “It’s fun to watch Ryu’s curveball velocity. Most pitchers look at how fast it is, but he looks at how slow it is,” he said with a thumbs-up. It’s only natural that his stock would rise ahead of free agency. But he doesn’t seem to mind. “Honestly, I’m not surprised (that I got my pitches back so quickly). The most important thing is that I got my health back,” he emphasized.


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