“Just one more mile” Flawless pitcher ‘vintage RYU’ returns, LAD vs. LAA later this month?
Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu has crossed the eighth-inning plateau on his way to the big leagues.
Ryu made his first start for the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons on April 16 (ET), allowing three hits and one run in five innings of work against the Toledo Mud Hens at Shea Field in Buffalo, New York. He threw 66 pitches, walking none and striking out five.
He was very close to the pitch count required to join the major leagues.
“Ryu is expected to make at least one more start in Buffalo,” said the Toronto Sun, a leading Canadian media outlet. Ryu told the media, “I think I’ll probably pitch here again, and then there will be talks (about joining the big leagues). We’ll see. I’m not worried about my body.”
In his three rehab appearances so far, Ryu hasn’t walked a batter in 12 innings while giving up two runs on 10 hits. Instead, he’s struck out 11. In true Vintage Ryu fashion, his mechanics aren’t an issue or something to watch.메이저놀이터
What big league staffs are looking at is pitch count and fastball velocity. In today’s Triple-A game, he threw 66 pitches. He was well within his target of 65. His four-seam fastball had a low of 86.3 mph, a high of 89.8 mph, and an average of 87.9 mph. He threw 27 fastballs, 15 cutters, 13 changeups, and 11 curves. His fastball to changeup ratio is similar to what he’s used to in the majors.
Ryu is expected to run Toronto’s six-man rotation when he returns later this month. AP
In his last 10 Single-A starts, Ryu has thrown 37 pitches, with his fastball ranging from 85.9 to 88.4 mph and averaging 86.9 mph. Coming off five days of rest, his average velocity increased by 1.0 mph and his fastball increased by 1.4 mph.
Before Ryu had elbow surgery in June of last year, his fastball peaked at 92.9 mph and averaged 89.3 mph. He needs to average at least 89.0 mph to get a call-up to the big leagues, which appears to be within reach in his next start. We don’t have a date for his next start, but it’s likely to be on the road against the Syracuse Mets (Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets) at NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse, New York on the 21st or 22nd.
Based on today’s results, the goal for his next start is six innings and 80 to 85 pitches. As Canadian outlet Sportsnet reported on Nov. 11, “Ryu is expected to make at least two starts for the Bisons before being called up to the big leagues. The organization hopes to see him throw 85 pitches in his final outing.
If the pitch count, velocity, and physical condition of his fourth rehab start meet all the requirements, the next step is to join the major leagues. There’s no need to delay. He could join the big league rotation in the last week of the month.
Toronto plays a three-game series on the road against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium from May 25-27 and a three-game series at home against the Los Angeles Angels at Rogers Centre from May 29-31. If this weekend’s Triple-A outing is the final tune-up, the return game would be against the Dodgers on the 27th or the Angels on the 29th. The Dodgers and Dodger Stadium have been a “home” and “home away from home” for the seven-year veteran. The Angels are the favorite to trade Shohei Ohtani.
On the opening day of the second half of the season, Toronto got a quality start from Jose Berrios against the Arizona Diamondbacks with 5⅓ innings of seven hits and one run, and on the 16th, Chris Bassitt got a quality start with six innings of seven hits and two runs. However, Bassitt was called up a day early after ace Kevin Gausman, who was scheduled to start that day, complained of side soreness.
This could destabilize the rotation. Toronto is expected to decide where Ryu will join the rotation, depending on his health and how Yusei Kikuchi and Alec Manoa fare in their first starts of the second half.