Hanwha’s Ryu Hyun-jin has been ‘art pitching’ since he can throw lightly

The return of the “monster” to the KBO has been decided. “Ryu Hyun-jin will pitch in the opening game,” Hanwha manager Choi Won-ho told reporters at the Gochinda Stadium in Okinawa, Japan, on March 25. Hanwha’s opening game of the 2024 season will be against LG on March 23 at Jamsil Stadium. With Ryu’s return, Hanwha has less of a starting pitching dilemma. Ryu will start the opening game.

Ryu signed the contract on March 22 and traveled to Okinawa, Japan, on March 23 to throw his first bullpen pitch. After discussions with manager Choi Won-ho, the coaching staff, and trainers, he decided to start the opening game. Initially, he was expected to pitch in one of the two opening games of the Jamsil Series. After pitching out of the bullpen on the 23rd, Ryu vowed, “I will bring home one win out of the two opening games against LG.” Choi said, “We had a meeting and Ryu said that he was ready for the opening game on schedule. If we go according to plan, I think he will be able to pitch in the opening game,” Choi said.

Ryu had left elbow ligament reconstruction surgery in 2022. Last year, his first season back from surgery, he was very conscious of his pitch count in Toronto. He didn’t throw more than 90 pitches in any game. In his second season back from surgery, Ryu is generally able to pitch normally, but Hanwha plans to carefully manage his pitch count.

Choi said, “Ryu is more concerned about the number of pitches than innings. That’s what he’s been doing in the major leagues, and we just have to adjust to that,” Choi said. “I don’t think it will be difficult for him to reach 120 pitches like he did when he was younger. I think he can manage around 100 pitches in the beginning, and then in the middle of the season or later, he can go up to the low 100s. It’s important for him to stay healthy and stay in the rotation.”

If Ryu were to pitch full-time, Choi expects him to pitch 150 to 160 innings. Choi referred to Ryu as the “No. 1 starter” and said, “I think he should still pitch 150 to 160 innings,” adding, “Considering his surgical history and age, I think we should control the number of pitches and drag him out.

Ryu will throw one more bullpen session on the 26th, followed by live BP (throwing with batters in the batter’s box) before returning home. He will not pitch in any exhibition games in 토토 Japan. “He will pitch about two games in the exhibition games,” Choi said.

When Choi watched Ryu pitch out of the bullpen on the 23rd, he said, “It’s good, it’s good,” and was impressed. This time, Choi replied, “Art,” and said, “He said he threw lightly. Even though he threw lightly, he had a good tip, and his left and right location was excellent. I haven’t seen such a pitch in a long time,” and gave a thumbs up. Choi said, “If he throws it with full power, he’ll be able to throw it in the mid 140s.”

“The most important thing is to increase the number of pitches, so I asked him if he thought it would be possible, and he said he thought it would be possible in terms of the schedule. I’m determined to get in shape by then,” Ryu said. Ryu, who is still adjusting to his Hanwha teammates, who have changed from 12 years ago, said, “I think the players are still struggling. “I need to get to know the juniors as soon as possible, so if they ask me to buy them food, I’ll buy them everything. There’s no limit, so you can eat as much as you want,” he said, laughing coolly.


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