“When he throws like that, I don’t need to see it.토토사이트

Toronto Blue Jays manager John Schneider has confirmed that veteran left-hander Hyun-jin Ryu, 36, is close to returning to the big leagues. Speaking to the media ahead of the Blue Jays’ game against the San Diego Padres on Sunday (19 July), Schneider confirmed that Ryu is on track to make what is effectively his final rehab start.

Ryu will make one more start for Toronto’s Triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons, on the 22nd. Schneider’s final challenge for Ryu is to throw at least 80 pitches in five innings. If Ryu meets this requirement in his fourth rehab start, and if his body remains healthy, we could see him on a major league mound soon.

In his previous three minor league starts between the Rookie League, Single-A, and Triple-A, Ryu allowed two runs on 12 hits with 11 strikeouts and four walks. In his last start, on the 16th of this month against the Toledo BirdHens (Triple-A affiliate of Detroit), he pitched five innings of three-hit ball (one homer) with five strikeouts and one walk in an 8-2 win.

His command of his pitches has been consistently good, but what stood out in his last outing was the uptick in velocity. His fastball topped out at 89.8 mph (144.5 km/h) and averaged 87.9 mph (141.4 km/h). In his second outing, his fastball topped out at 88.4 mph (142 km/h) and averaged 86.9 mph (140 km/h), showing an ideal velocity curve even though he was criticised for needing to work on his conditioning a bit more.

Ryu Hyun-jin in a rehab start ⓒBuffalo Bisons SNS

Hyun-jin Ryu makes a rehab start in Single-A. Ryu signs an autograph for a fan. Dundalk Blue Jays SNS

After the game, MILB.com, the official website of the minor leagues, said, “Ryu Hyun-jin is currently in the process of making rehabilitation appearances to return to the major leagues after undergoing Tommy John surgery in June 2022. His Triple-A start was fantastic.”

Just as important to Schneider as innings and pitches is control. “Toronto feels comfortable with Ryu’s velocity (87-88 mph), but would like to see it up a bit,” said Ben Nicholson-Smith of Canadian outlet Sportsnet.

Ryu himself is pleased with the progress of his rehab outing. After his third outing, he told the Toronto Star, “I feel like I can focus on what I need to do a little bit more now. I feel good that I’m executing the plan as planned.”

Ryu has been rehabbing for about 13 months after undergoing Tommy John surgery last June. Toronto is currently in need of starting pitching reinforcements, and Ryu’s progress in preparing for his return has been positive, as he is eager to get back on the big league mound. That’s why he’s been so diligent in his rehabilitation, losing 13 kilograms of weight.

If he meets his 80-pitch goal, he could be back on the big league roster by the end of July. MLB.com’s Keegan Mathieson emphasised the imminence of his return, writing, “If he’s on track to reach his goal of 85 pitches, it won’t be long before he’s back in Toronto.”

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