One step closer to ‘July return’…RYU to pitch two innings on Tuesday

After vowing to return this summer, Ryu Hyun-jin (35, Toronto Blue Jays) is well on his way to rehabilitation.

“Hyun-jin Ryu will throw two innings of live bullpen work on Wednesday at the team’s spring training facility in Dunedin, Florida,” Aden Zwelling of Canadian outlet Sportsnet reported on Tuesday (June 20).

Ryu underwent ligament splicing surgery on his left elbow last June. It was his second ligament splicing surgery in his mid-30s, which raised concerns and led to speculation that his rehabilitation would be longer. However, as he left South Korea at the end of last year, he expressed his determination, saying, “My goal is to return in July.”메이저놀이터

So far, Ryu is on target. He stayed with his teammates in Dunedin during spring training and stayed on after the season to continue his rehabilitation. He finally started his rehabilitation process by throwing out of the bullpen on March 24. He then pitched one inning of live ball in Dunedin on the 17th of this month, and told the club that he “felt good” afterward.

If he can follow up his one-inning outing with a two-inning live start on the 23rd, he could be ready to throw the five-plus innings required for a starter sooner rather than later. A minor league rehab start will be scheduled soon.

Ryu’s return could be a huge boost for Toronto, which is in the midst of a fierce postseason race. As of Sept. 19, Toronto is 39-34 with a .534 winning percentage, good for fourth place in the American League East. They have a winning percentage of over .500, but a postseason challenge is far from assured due to the tight division.

Meanwhile, Ryu’s close junior and last year’s Toronto ace, Alec Manoa, remains in the minors. Zwelling reported, “Manoa pitched in a side session today. He is expected to pitch in a simulated game on the 21st. He threw 75 pitches in five innings in his last simulated game, so the goal is to increase his pitch count. If all goes well, the next step is a minor league start.”

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