The “Korean Monster,” Ryu Hyun-jin (36, Toronto), is expected to return to South Korea.
MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball (MLB), highlighted Ryu in an article titled “9 prospective free agents who should finish the 2023 season strong” on Aug. 8 (KST). In the article, MLB.com speculated that Ryu, who will be eligible for free agency after the 2023 season, could sign a multi-year contract with an MLB organization.
“Typically, pitchers who undergo elbow ligament reconstruction (Tommy John surgery) take a long time to get back on track, but Ryu is a different story,” the publication wrote. “In seven starts since his return, he has filled a gap in Toronto’s starting rotation with a 2.65 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 34 innings pitched.” The article goes on to detail his performance.
While it’s unlikely that he’ll get a big contract, his recent performance suggests that he’ll be coveted by a number of teams. “At 36, Ryu probably won’t get the four-year, $80 million contract he signed with Toronto in 2020, but if he keeps up his current form, he could land a multi-year free agent deal, which seems unlikely,” the publication said.
Ryu was placed on the disabled list last June after complaining of elbow pain against the Chicago White Sox. As a pitcher in his mid-30s and with such a sensitive area of his body, it was widely expected that he would struggle to return to form.
But after a grueling 14-month rehabilitation, Ryu was still going strong. In his first seven games back, he went 3-2 with a 2.65 ERA, a .219 batting average, 2.12 strikeouts per nine innings, and a .242 batting average on balls in play (BABIP).
Most notably, he picked up his first win of the season on April 14 against the Chicago Cubs (two runs in five innings), followed by a three-game winning streak. On July 27 in Cleveland, Ryu pitched 14 consecutive scoreless innings before giving up a run-scoring home run to Jose Ramirez in the first inning.
In his last two outings, Ryu came up just short of a victory. Since returning from injury, he’s been using his offspeed pitches with precision and cooking hitters with his sharp changeup, including a cut fastball and curveball.먹튀검증
In the past, Ryu has stated that he would like to retire from the KBO, where he started his career. However, he did not specify when he would return to Korea.