“He will be able to sign a multi-year contract with good financial terms”
Ryu Hyun-jin (36-Toronto Blue Jays) is expected to sign a multi-year contract, according to local reports. It will be a while before we see Ryu in the KBO.
MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, listed nine prospective free agents who need to finish the 2023 season strong, and Ryu’s name was among them.
The list included Matt Chapman (Toronto), Cody Bellinger (Chicago Cubs), Lucas Giolito (Cleveland Indians), Teoscar Hernandez (Seattle Mariners), Aaron Nola (Philadelphia Phillies), Eduardo Rodriguez (Detroit Tigers), Luis Severino (New York Yankees), and Blake Snell (San Diego Padres).
“Elbow ligament splicing surgery → a pain in the ass to get back on track… but Ryu is different”
First, the media reported, “Usually, it takes a while for pitchers to get back on track after undergoing elbow ligament splicing surgery (Tommy John surgery). However, this is not the case with Ryu.” Ryu is not like other pitchers who have undergone surgery.
“Since coming off the disabled list, Ryu has posted a sparkling 2.65 ERA and 1.06 WHIP (walks allowed per inning) in seven starts and 34 innings. Along the way, Ryu gave a thumbs-up to filling the fifth starter’s spot in the rotation for Alec Manoa, who was sent down to the minors twice this season. He praised Ryu for getting back on track quickly, unlike most pitchers who return from surgery.
“Now 36, Ryu isn’t going to get a deal like the four-year, $80 million contract he signed the last time he reached free agency,” MLB.com went on to soberly assess.
Ryu left the Los Angeles Dodgers after the 2019 season to join the Toronto Blue Jays in free agency on a four-year, $80 million contract. Four years later, he’s looking at his second free agent contract as a major leaguer. However, because he is now older than he was four years ago, the media believes that he will not be able to sign a mega contract of the same size.
Still, the outlet believes that Ryu is likely to sign a long-term deal. “However, if he keeps rolling like this he could put himself in line for a lucrative multiyear pact,” MLB.com wrote, “something that seemed unlikely just a month ago.”
Ryu spent more than a year rehabbing after undergoing elbow ligament splicing surgery last June. He made his return on Aug. 2 against the Baltimore Orioles. Baltimore is currently in first place in the American League East (as of August 8). In that game, Ryu took the loss, allowing four runs (four earned) on nine hits (one home run) with one walk and three strikeouts in five innings. As it turns out, Baltimore’s hitters, one of the most potent offenses in the American League, were able to take advantage of his pitches.
However, Ryu began to look like his old self again. On Aug. 8 against Cleveland, he pitched his best game of the season, going four innings without allowing a single hit while striking out one and walking two. He was on pace for a no-hitter, but unfortunately, he was hit in the knee by a hard hit ball in the fourth inning and had to leave the game without completing the fifth inning. However, Ryu’s performance was enough to make an impression.
Ryu was hit in the knee by a pitch, but he bounced back to the mound and delivered. On May 14 against the Chicago Cubs, Ryu threw five innings of two-hit ball with two walks and three strikeouts, allowing two runs (two earned) to earn his first win of the season. It was his first win in 444 days since May 27 against the Los Angeles Angels last year. He went on to win his second straight start against Cincinnati on May 21 with five innings of four-hit ball, one walk, seven strikeouts and two runs (unearned), and on May 28 against Cleveland with five innings of four-hit ball (two home runs), five strikeouts and three runs (two earned).
Fastballs aren’t everything, as Ryu proves… The streak continues in September
Above all, Ryu is proving with every game that velocity isn’t everything for a pitcher. Even though his fastball only tops out at around 145 kilometers per hour, he has a great mix of curveballs and changeups that he uses in his artistic pitching. Ryu himself said of his curveball, “I’d give it a 100 out of 100,” and beamed.
In September, Ryu has continued to pitch well. On September 2 against Colorado, he was up to the task at Coors Field, a pitcher’s graveyard, with five innings of four-hit ball (one homer), two walks, three strikeouts, and two runs. He walked off the mound with the win, but a bullpen meltdown prevented him from picking up the win. On the seventh, he pitched five innings against Oakland, allowing two runs on five hits (one home run) with five strikeouts and one walk. Although he took the mound with his team losing, he proved his durability by going five innings in five consecutive games, and he’s held Cleveland to two earned runs or fewer in all six of his starts since May 8. Ryu’s record this season is 3-2 with a 2.65 ERA. In 34 innings pitched, he has allowed 15 runs (10 earned) on 28 hits with eight walks and 28 strikeouts.
Back home in the U.S., Ryu’s streak has been met with praise. The Toronto Blue Jays have been singing his praises, calling it a “monster master class” and “Ryu’s form is insane.” His teammates have been equally complimentary. His teammates have been equally complimentary. Belt, who faced Ryu a lot with the San Francisco Giants, said, “He knows how to pitch. It doesn’t matter what weapons he has on the mound. He’s a pitcher who knows what to do with those weapons. He pitches at a very high tempo. It’s a lot of fun to play behind a pitcher like that,” he said.
Certainly, the difference between him and other players who have had elbow ligament splicing surgery is nothing short of miraculous. Mike Wilner, a columnist for the Toronto Star, wrote on social media, “It”s amazing to see a player who has spent more than 14 months rehabilitating after having an ACL ligament splicing surgery have such good velocity. “It’s amazing to see a pitcher who spent 14 months rehabbing from Tommy John surgery have such good velocity,” he said, adding, “For most pitchers who have had Tommy John surgery, velocity is the last thing they look for.” FanGraphs, an American baseball statistical publication, noted that “Ryu spent a record 18 years between his first and second elbow surgeries,” and that “Ryu is one of only three pitchers out of 14 who have had Tommy John surgery since 2021 to have a successful comeback. Ryu is now being cited as a best practice example for second elbow surgery in the United States.안전놀이터
At this rate, Ryu is likely to remain in the major leagues next year and be an integral part of the starting rotation. He’s also likely to sign a multi-year contract, as reported by local media. If Ryu doesn’t stay in the majors and returns to South Korea, he’ll have to return to his “home” team, the Hanwha Eagles. However, that scenario seems quite unlikely at this point. For now, Hyun-jin Ryu will start a three-game series against the Texas Rangers at home from December 12-14, where he will try to win four games.