It’s all about control.
Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu will make his third minor league rehab start following elbow surgery.
“Hyun-jin Ryu will make his third rehab start tomorrow at 7:05 a.m. ET for the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons,” the Toronto organization announced on Friday, adding that the game will be played at Sheldon Field in Buffalo, N.Y., and the opponent will be the Toledo Mud Hens (Triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers).
According to Canadian outlet Sportsnet, Ryu will take the mound with a target of four to five innings and 65 pitches. Now it’s all about pitch count and velocity. Toronto manager John Schneider and the club are also anxiously awaiting the results of Ryu’s pitching, as they believe he has improved his feel for the game.
If the team is satisfied with the results, Ryu could be in line to join the big league rotation as soon as this month.
MLB.com highlighted 13 players from the major league clubs who are rehabbing on the disabled list (IL) today, with Ryu being the “obvious” choice for Toronto.메이저놀이터
‘Ryu threw 42 pitches in his first outing, touching 88 mph, one tick below his velocity from last year,’ writes Henry Palatella, ‘and only Kevin Gausman and Jose Berrios have ERAs below 4.00 in the Toronto rotation. It’s unlikely that Ryu will make his first start with a strict pitch count limit.
Based on Ryu’s velocity, Palatella’s prediction is that he’ll return in late July or early August.
Ryu needs to get his fastball average back up to last year’s level of 89 mph. AP
One thing to note is the exact velocity of Ryu’s fastball, which reportedly touched 88.4 mph in a Single-A rehab game on Tuesday. However, before the Tommy John trade last year, Ryu’s fastball averaged 89.3 mph. In the three years since his trade to Toronto, his fastball has averaged 89.7 mph. In other words, Ryu needs to get his average velocity up to that level in his remaining two or three rehab starts. On average, he’ll need to increase it by about two miles per hour.
Ryu gave up one run on four hits with five strikeouts in three innings in a start for the rookie-level FCL Blue Jays on May 5, and one run on three hits with one strikeout in four innings in a start for the Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays on May 10. He hasn’t walked a batter in two games, so the only question now is his velocity.
Speaking of pitch counts, Sportsnet reports that “Ryu is expected to make at least two starts for the Bisons before reaching the big leagues. The organization is hoping to see him throw 85 pitches in his final outing.
MLB.com writes, ‘At this rate, Ryu could emerge as a Blue Jays starting option in the coming weeks. When that happens, Toronto will have six healthy starters. It’s a welcome addition for Toronto, which used four starters in the final month of the first half.
CBS Sports reported, “In his last two starts, Ryu’s fastball has topped 88 mph. He’s just a few miles away from his pre-injury level. He could join the Blue Jays’ rotation later this month.