The “Korean Monster,” Ryu Hyun-jin 바카라사이트(36, Toronto Blue Jays), will return to the big league mound after a 14-month hiatus.
Ryu will start the 2023 Major League Baseball home opener at 8:07 a.m. ET on Aug. 2 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The opponent is the Baltimore Orioles.
Toronto manager John Schneider revealed the timeline for Ryu’s return in an interview with Sports Illustrated (SI) and other local media outlets on Monday, saying, “Ryu is ready. It’s time to move forward. There’s no looking back.”
“He doesn’t have a pitch count limit,” Schneider added.
Toronto will play 17 games in a row from April 29 to April 14, with no days off.
With Ryu’s return, the Jays will use a six-man rotation for the 17-game stretch.
“The six-man rotation gives the starters an extra day of rest,” Schneider said, “and once they’ve gone through the rotation once or twice with the six-man rotation, you’ll start to see the effects.”
It’s been exactly one year and two months since Ryu made his last big league start, a home game against the Chicago White Sox on June 2 last year.
After giving up three runs on five hits in four innings, he was removed from the game due to elbow pain and said, “I regret that I pitched today.”
On June 19, 2022, Ryu underwent ligament reconstruction surgery on his left elbow.
The long and lonely rehabilitation was over.
Ryu pitched out of the bullpen in May, pitched live in June, and made four minor league appearances in July.
On July 22, he started a Triple-A game and went six innings, giving up two runs on three hits (two homers) and a walk. He struck out five.
Ryu, who threw 85 pitches, his most since the surgery, also upped his fastball’s velocity to 90.8 miles per hour (about 146 kilometers per hour).
Ryu accompanied his Toronto teammates on their trip to Los Angeles on Aug. 25 and was greeted by his former Dodger teammates at Dodger Stadium.
He also pitched out of the bullpen to complete his final checks for his return to the big leagues.
Ryu Hyun-jin, the Korean Monster
In a recent interview with Sportsnet Canada, Ryu said, “My velocity is increasing every time I pitch. I’m satisfied with my pitches,” and “The angles of my changeup, curveball, and cutter are improving. My rehab is going well,” he said.
On June 2, Ryu took the mound at Rogers Centre for the first time in a year and two months.
Ryu’s career record against Baltimore is 5-1 with a 4.35 ERA in nine games.
In 13 starts at Rogers Centre, he is 6-5 with a 6.93 ERA.
Baltimore has been a powerhouse this season, leading the American League East.
However, for Ryu, who was desperate to get back to the big leagues, it didn’t matter who he faced.
In 175 games (174 starts) since 2013, Ryu has a 75-45 record with one save and a 3.27 ERA. Now, Ryu will make his 176th major league appearance and 175th start.
“I want to fulfill the role of a starting pitcher again,” Ryu said, “and I want to contribute to the team’s victory.”