A thirty-six-year-old veteran pitcher’s second Tommy John surgery. No one expected him to return after 13 and a half months, and even the team paying his salary didn’t believe him.
That makes the return of Toronto Blue Jays left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin all the more significant.
Ryu will make his return on August 2 at home against the Baltimore Orioles.온라인카지노
Ryu surprised everyone once again. Photo by Ko Hong-seok
While he downplays it by saying, “The first time I had surgery, I threw in nine months,” his return is pretty quick, especially considering his age. When he had his first surgery, not many people thought he’d ever be back on the mound in a Blue Jays uniform.
The Blue Jays organization didn’t think much differently. “When he first came out of surgery, they gave him an 18-month rehabilitation protocol,” an official told reporters recently. In essence, they thought Ryu would never play for them again.
It wasn’t unreasonable. Ryu’s elbow injury was the result of using his arm for a long time. “Like younger players, if it breaks, you just have to reattach it, but that wasn’t the case with Ryu,” the official said, explaining why the team didn’t expect a quick recovery.
But Ryu proved them wrong. About two weeks into spring training, the official said, the club’s perspective began to change.
After making a strong impression in spring training, Ryu battled the heat and loneliness of Florida and continued his rehabilitation in silence. He lost weight and got into better shape by adopting a strict lifestyle that included no late-night meals.
His rehab starts, arguably the hardest part, went well. In four games, he pitched 18 innings and allowed four runs and three home runs, but struck out 16 batters while walking three. Despite the results, he showed encouraging signs, steadily increasing his fastball velocity with each outing.
Compare that to 2016 (8 games, 27 2/3 innings, 16 runs, 13 earned) when he was rehabbing from shoulder surgery. It went so well that the organization had to slow him down.
His performance has also been inspiring for the Blue Jays organization.
“I haven’t been through that surgery, so I don’t know, but I’ve heard it’s a second Tommy John, so it’s really cool to see a veteran in his mid-30s who’s done everything he can do, pushing himself to be in the ‘best shape of his life,'” Alec Manoa, who is known as Ryu’s “best friend,” said of his efforts.
“It’s great to see a veteran like him show that kind of sharpness and willingness to do it, even when he doesn’t have anything to prove anymore. I’m so glad he’s back,” he said, welcoming his teammate back.
Manager John Schneider praised Ryu’s attitude, saying, “He’s been aggressive since day one when he came back here (Toronto) last year and started his rehab.”
“Considering his age, considering this is his second surgery, he’s done a great job,” Schneider said. He’s had a tremendous feel for pitching, and he’s been very professional in his rehab. We’re not just happy that he’s back sooner than expected, but we’re happy for everything he’s done, including losing weight to get in better shape.”
What will Ryu look like when he returns to the mound? Only the goddess of victory knows the answer to that question.
But regardless of the outcome, there is an important fact. Just being back on the big league mound is a huge win for him.
A payoff pitch is a pitch that a pitcher throws in a three-ball, two-strike, full count. Translated, it’s the “deciding pitch. Sometimes it’s a heavy fastball, sometimes it’s a sharp changeup, and sometimes it’s a wild pitch. Once the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand, it’s no longer the pitcher’s, and once it leaves the writer’s hand, it’s no longer the writer’s. It’s up to you, the reader, to decide.