The Toronto Blue Jays are repeatedly thinking about how to quickly call up veteran lefty Ryu Hyun-jin (36) to the big leagues or reinforce their 안전놀이터 starting pitcher with a trade. This is because the young gun Alek Manoa (25), who was once evaluated as a ‘Cy Young-class’, was sluggish.
Toronto announced the schedule for Ryu Hyun-jin’s fourth rehabilitation appearance on the 19th (Korean time). Ryu Hyun-jin is scheduled to make another start on the 22nd with the Buffalo Bisons, a Triple A team affiliated with Toronto. Toronto coach John Schneider ordered Hyun-Jin Ryu to throw at least 5-6 innings and 80-85 pitches. If he meets these conditions and stays fit, he’ll most likely be called up to the big leagues straight away.
Coach Schneider told local reporters in Canada that day that his return was imminent, saying, “If Ryu Hyun-jin throws just like that (5-6 innings, 80-85 pitches), there is no need to check further.” Ryu Hyun-jin started in three minor league games, including the Rookie League, Single A, and Triple A, and recorded 12 innings, 11 strikeouts, no four walks, and two runs. In the match against Toledo Bird Hens (Triple A affiliated with Detroit) on the 16th, which was the previous appearance, he threw 66 pitches in 5 innings. Ryu Hyun-jin now has to prove his ability to throw 1 inning, 20 pitches longer, so he can aim to enter the big league starting rotation in 13 months.
Toronto seemed to be planning about two more minor league appearances when Hyun-Jin Ryu completed his third rehab appearance. Ryu Hyun-jin underwent Tommy John surgery in June of last year and has been rehabilitating for 13 months, but considering the age in his late 30s, he needed to be careful.
However, Manoa did not give Toronto a chance to relax. Manoa started against the San Diego Padres that day and took his 8th loss (2 wins) of the season with the worst pitching, 3 innings, 92 pitches, 4 hits (1 home run), 5 walks, no strikeouts and 4 runs. His season earned run average rose from 5.91 to 6.18. He hasn’t been able to get out of the swamp of injuries and sluggishness all season.
In an interview with local Canadian reporters after the match, coach Schneider criticized, “Manoa’s pitching was worse than I thought.”
Manoa is a young gun that drew attention as the next-generation ace to lead Toronto. His domestic baseball fans are well known as ‘Ryu Hyun-jin’. It was because he was very willing to follow veteran Ryu Hyun-jin and learn from him during training. In 2022, he played very well with 31 games, 16 wins, 7 losses, 196⅔ innings, and an earned run average of 2.24, finishing third in the final voting for the American League Cy Young Award.
Toronto has a headache as it shakes up to Manoa with Kevin Gaussman out with a minor injury. I thought that if Gaussman and Ryu Hyun-jin joined at the same time, it would be possible to operate the 6th starter, but if Manoa is shaken like this, the 6th starter becomes a futile dream. Toronto currently ranks third in the Eastern Division of the American League with a record of 53 wins and 42 losses this season, and is running second in the wild card race. It is too early to give up fall baseball, so there is talk of finding a starting pitcher before the trade period ends.
The American sports media ‘The Athletic’ said, ‘Until the trade deadline of August 2, Manoa can pitch two more times. In the meantime, if Manoa doesn’t rebound, Toronto’s patience will run out.”
Still, there is an opinion that restraint is a problem to call Hyun-jin Ryu only after his 4th rehabilitation appearance. He said that he needs to keep an eye on the results of Minor League appearances as he can face big league hitters only when he raises his current velocity of 87 mph to 90 mph. Still, if Manoa continues to have no answer, coach Schneider has no choice but to urgently hire Ryu Hyun-jin or match a trade card. Manoa has become a pretty big variable in Ryu Hyun-jin’s return schedule.