What does Toronto Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker have to say about Hyun-jin Ryu’s comeback?
Speaking exclusively with MK Sports ahead of the Blue Jays’ game against the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday (April 4) at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Walker discussed Ryu’s recent return from Tommy John surgery.
Ryu took the loss in his start against Baltimore on Feb. 2, allowing four runs on nine hits, one walk and three strikeouts in five innings. He lasted five innings, but gave up a lot of hard-hit balls. His fastball velocity was encouraging, touching 90 mph, but his changeup and cutter, his primary pitches, were not working.
Still, Walker was positive about Ryu’s outing, saying, “There were a lot of good things.” “He put in a tremendous effort for over a year, and he came back and did a great job of keeping us in the game against the best team in the league right now,” Walker said of the starter.
“Early on, I was a little out of rhythm, like any pitcher who’s been away for a long time. I wouldn’t say he was nervous, just a little jittery, but as the game went on, he got his groove back. His delivery was better, and the end was really good,” he said, adding that he got better as the game went on.
True to his coach’s words, Ryu was shaky in the first and second innings, giving up back-to-back long balls, but settled down in the third through fifth innings. He gave up a home run in the sixth inning, but it was significant that he made it to the sixth inning in his comeback.
This is his first start in 13 and a half months, which is pretty quick for a Tommy John surgery. “It was impressive,” Coach Walker said when asked if he was surprised. “He worked hard to get back, and he was in great shape. His pitches are very close to where they were before,” he continued.
How is he feeling after his start? “A major league start is a lot more stressful than a minor league rehab start,” Walker said. So I had to see how I rebounded. I asked him and he said it felt great. I’m hoping it stays that way.”
It was an encouraging outing, but he still hasn’t fully regained his prime form. I asked Coach Walker what he thought he could do to get back to his old self.카지노
“Just throw,” was his simple answer. “My body feels good, my ball movement is very good. It’s similar to how he was before the injury. Now he has to keep practicing. He needs to keep pitching, keep getting innings, and get that major league feel and routine back.”
In short, his diagnosis is that he needs to regain the feel and rhythm of a major league game. Consistent pitching is the only solution.
When asked if he thinks Ryu can get back to his old self this way, he nodded.
“I saw it when I watched him pitch out of the bullpen in Tampa two months ago. He had great ball movement, great glove-side command (for right-handed batters). With his ability and dedication, I have a lot of confidence that he can get back to where he was before the injury.”
There was a strong sense of confidence in his explanation. Ryu will prepare for his next start with his coach’s faith and confidence.