Korean Monster’ Ryu Hyun-jin (36), who showed off his health after successful rehabilitation, returned to Korea.
Ryu Hyun-jin, who spent his fourth season with the Toronto Blue Jays, concluded the regular season schedule with a home game against the Tampa Bay Rays on the 1st (Korean time), and returned to Korea through Incheon International Airport Passenger Terminal 1 on the 18th.
Ryu Hyun-jin, who felt unwell after a game with the Chicago White Sox on June 2 last year, underwent elbow ligament joint surgery (Tommy John surgery) and entered rehabilitation, ending the 2022 season early.
Even at the time of his surgery, the local media’s outlook was skeptical.
Generally, the rehabilitation period required for athletes undergoing elbow ligament fusion surgery is at least one year, and depending on the recovery, this period may be longer. In particular, in the case of Ryu Hyun-jin, considering his considerable age, it was true that there was a question mark as to whether he would be able to regain the same skills as before.
Ryu Hyun-jin, who had a stronger will to return than anyone else, began working on his body with the goal of returning to the mound as a starting pitcher. He also did weight training and aerobic exercise to lose his weight.
Ryu Hyun-jin, who performed his first bullpen pitching at the end of May this year, improved his condition by doing live pitching in June and rehabilitation pitching in July. Meanwhile, on August 2nd, he made his return to the big league after exactly one year and two months by starting a home game against the Baltimore Orioles.
Ryu Hyun-jin, who reported his first win since his return against the Chicago Cubs on August 14, continued the smooth trend by collecting three wins in August alone, and continued to play in the rotation until the end of the season. Ryu Hyun-jin’s final performance this season is 11 games, 52 innings, 3 wins, 3 losses, and an average ERA of 3.46.
Ryu Hyun-jin, who met with reporters after returning to Korea, looked back on his season, saying, “I am satisfied that I kept my promise to return in the second half of the year,” and “I think I did well enough just by returning.”
However, Ryu Hyun-jin was unable to add wins through 6 games and only had 3 wins of the season. Even when comparing his monthly performance, it is true that his performance in September (6 games, 28 innings, 2 losses, ERA 4.50) was disappointing compared to August (5 games, 24 innings, 3 wins, 1 loss, ERA 2.25). In the end, Ryu Hyun-jin was not included in the entry for the American League Wild Card Series (ALWC) against the Minnesota Twins.
What do you think? Ryu Hyun-jin said, “It was something I fully understood. Since we were preparing for the Wild Card Series and beyond, it would have been nice for the team to keep winning, but I have no regrets about that. I think it will get better next year.”
Currently, the Major League Baseball (MLB) postseason championship series (CS, best-of-seven) schedule is in full swing, and Ryu Hyun-jin will become eligible for free agency once the World Series schedule is completed. Finding a team right away is an important task.안전놀이터
While the local community is also paying attention to Ryu Hyun-jin’s future, it has been observed that the possibility of him returning to the KBO League is low. Ben Nicholson-Smith of the Canadian local media ‘Sportsnet’ also mentioned Ryu Hyun-jin’s name while reporting news about Toronto’s free agent players such as Brandon Belt and Matt Chapman through his SNS (social networking service) on the 5th. He said, “Ryu Hyun-jin wants to sign with a major league team.”
Ryu Hyun-jin said, “I don’t think I can say anything yet, and I think I’ll have to wait and see the situation first. I think it will take time,” and added, “If there are enough stories (about a satisfactory offer), of course I want to stay. If not,” he said. “And we don’t know what the situation will be like,” he said.
Ryu Hyun-jin, who will remain in Korea for the time being, plans to spend time with his family, rest, and focus on preparing for the 2024 season by training as usual.
The following is a Q&A with Ryu Hyun-jin.
-How do you feel about returning home?
“When I left the country in December for rehabilitation, I said, ‘I will be able to return in the second half of the year,’ and I am satisfied because I think I have kept that.”
-How would you rate yourself this season?
“Rather than evaluation, I think I did well enough just to return.”
-Do you have any regrets about not having the opportunity to pitch in the postseason?
“First of all, (the team’s decision) was fully understandable, and since we were preparing for the Wild Card Series and beyond, it would have been nice for the team to keep winning, but we couldn’t do that, so I think the season is over. I don’t think I have any regrets about it. “
-You have become a free agent again. What are your thoughts on your future?
“I’m still not sure.”
-Some say that you will return to Korea.
“First of all, I don’t think I can say anything just yet. I think we’ll have to watch the situation a little more, and I think it will take time.”
-When he was in Canada, he said he wanted to stay in the major league.
“If there are enough stories, I think it is natural, and if not, I don’t know what the situation will be. As I said before, I think it will take some time.”
-Now that you have some time, what are your plans for the time being?
“I think I should rest first and then start training. I will train as if I were preparing for the season, and in that way, I think I should prepare my body so that I can play a full season next year.”
-There are many Hanwha fans who remember the promise that they wanted to spend the last part of their career (as a player) at Hanwha, but is it still valid?
“That feeling has not changed. Of course I will.”
-As you may have seen and heard, the baseball team’s performance was good at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games. What was it like seeing your juniors?
“I didn’t watch the whole game, but I watched the highlights, and it seems like the young players took part in the tournament and brought home a wonderful gift of a gold medal. These players are the players who will continue to lead Korean baseball in international competitions in the future, so winning this time helped a lot. “I think this will happen.”
-I spent four seasons in Toronto. Looking back on that time.
“In some ways, it seems like time has passed quickly. There was COVID-19, we played at Buffalo Sailon Field (which was used temporarily due to the situation), and a lot of things happened. I think it passed faster than I thought.”
-Younger players who grew up watching you are gradually advancing into the major leagues. Following Kim Ha-seong, Lee Jeong-hoo also expressed his intention to challenge for the major league. What do you think it will be like?
“He is the best hitter in our country. He is recognized by everyone, so I think he will be competitive enough if he adapts quickly.”
-There was controversy about the starting pitcher being replaced quickly in Game 2 of the American League wild card game against the Minnesota Twins. As a fellow player, what do you think?
“As Jose Berrios said, I don’t think there was anything the player could have done. Of course, it’s a situation the player has to accept, so of course it will be disappointing from the player’s point of view. I have the feeling that it will be disappointing, and it was early in the game and the goal was conceded. It would have been disappointing for the player because it wasn’t a situation where he had to do anything, but it wasn’t a situation for the player to do anything about.”
-There was no victory at the end of the season. Did you have any regrets about that?
“I couldn’t throw it (laughter).”
-Fans were a little worried because the velocity was low, but do you think you can increase the velocity even more next season?
“I’m thinking that I’ll get better next year, and I think I’ve done enough just to come back this year.”
-Will there be opportunities to train or meet juniors in Korea during the remaining time?
“I think it will change depending on what we have to do, but I think we will be able to do it together because we will do the same training and other things.”
-My daughters don’t have much time to come to Korea, so I think I’ll have to let them see Korea a lot.
“Her wife will be good to you (laughs).”
-Finally, a word to the fans who supported us.
“Thank you so much for your support and encouragement during my surgery and rehabilitation. Next year, I will prepare hard to give you more joy with good games on the mound.”
▲Ryu Hyun-jin’s big league performance by year from 2013 to 2023
-2013: 30 games, 192 innings, 14 wins, 8 losses, ERA 3.00
-2014: 26 games, 152 innings, 14 wins, 7 losses, ERA 3.38
-2016: 1 game, 4⅔ innings, 1 Loss ERA 11.57
-2017: 25 games, 126⅔ innings, 5 wins, 9 losses, average ERA 3.77
-2018: 15 games, 82⅔ innings, 7 wins, 3 losses, ERA 1.97 -2019: 29 games,
182⅔ innings, 14 wins, 5 losses, average ERA 2.32
- 2020: 12 games, 67 innings, 5 wins, 2 losses, ERA 2.69
-2021: 31 games, 169 innings, 14 wins, 10 losses, ERA 4.37
-2022: 6 games, 27 innings, 2 wins, ERA 5.67 -2023
: 11 games, 52 innings. 3 wins, 3 losses, ERA 3.46