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Ryu Hyun-jin finally started live pitching against batters, taking steps to ‘return in July’

Ryu Hyun-jin (36, Toronto Blue Jays), who is about to return to the Major League (MLB) stage, is now planning to learn how to pitch by dealing with batters.

On the 14th (Korean time), Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet, a Canadian media, quoted Toronto coach John Schneider on his SNS and said, “Ryu Hyun-jin is going to pitch live this week with a hitter standing.”

Ryu Hyun-jin, who underwent Tommy John surgery (elbow ligament joint surgery) in June of last year, took steps to build his body. He devoted himself to aerobic exercise and weight training, and also had a diet, such as cutting out late-night snacks. Then Ryu Hyun-jin came back with a solid body that surprised everyone.

From the end of May, Ryu Hyun-jin started pitching in the bullpen and spurred a full-fledged return to the mound. Coach Schneider, who watched his pitching at the time, also praised him, saying, “It looked good.” Ryu Hyun-jin said in an interview 안전놀이터with, “My goal is to come back in the second half and become a part of the team.” This year’s All-Star break runs from July 11th to the 14th, and now there’s only one month left.

Ryu Hyun-jin, who signed a 4-year, 80 million dollar (approximately 102.2 billion won) contract with Toronto in 2020, recorded 5 wins and 2 losses with an ERA of 2.69 in 12 games in the first year, which was a shortened 60 game season. After winning 14 wins the following year, he was out for the season after starting six games in 2022 and undergoing Tommy John surgery in June. At the time of his surgery, there was also a prospect that he might not be able to return at all in the 2023 season, the final year of his contract.

However, Ryu Hyun-jin quietly clung to rehabilitation. Even after returning to Korea after his last season, he stayed only for a short time before returning to the United States to start rehabilitation training as soon as possible. Ryu Hyun-jin, who is in the process of recovering smoothly, is sweating hard to re-enter the big leagues.

Toronto urgently needs Ryu Hyun-jin’s healthy return. As of the 14th, Toronto is only 4th in the Eastern Division of the American League with a season win rate of 0.544 (37 wins, 31 losses). Although they are performing much better than the Minnesota Twins (0.507 win rate), which are ranked first in the Central Division, they are fighting a difficult battle in the ‘Group of Death’.

Currently, Toronto’s starting lineup is guarded by Kevin Gaussman, Chris Bassett, Jose Berrios, and Yusei Kikuchi, with good results. However, Alec Manoa, who recorded 16 wins and an average ERA of 2.24 last year, was demoted to the minor leagues this year after a sluggish ERA of 6.36. Ryu Hyun-jin’s return is necessary to rebuild a solid starting lineup.

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