Ryu’s return early, who’s the survivor? The starting lineup bombshell begins to spin

The bomb spinning begins.

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu (36) is in the early stages of his comeback. Hyun-jin Ryu rejoined the team before the 2023 Major League Baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Wednesday (June 23). He pitched out of the bullpen that day to further his comeback.

Toronto posted a message on the club’s official social networking service (SNS), saying, “Hello. Friend,” along with a video of Ryu’s appearance. Ryu rejoined the team for the first time since undergoing elbow ligament reconstruction (Tommy John surgery) last year.

ESPN reported, “Left-handed pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin and reliever Chad Green will pitch out of the bullpen on Tuesday (April 24). Both players are expected to return this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Prior to his injury, Hyun-jin Ryu was an ace in Toronto, going 21-12 with a 4.07 ERA in 49 games. Ryu helped Toronto reach the postseason in 2020. 안전놀이터

If Ryu returns healthy, he will likely return to the starting rotation. If that happens, one of the pitchers in the starting rotation will have to move to the bullpen. This season, Toronto has gone with a five-man rotation of Chris Bassett, Kevin Gausman, Jose Berrios, Alec Manoa, and Yusei Kikuchi in Ryu’s absence. The player with the worst performance among them will make way for Ryu.

The problem is Manoa and Kikuchi. Manoa was brilliant last season, going 16-7 with a 2.24 ERA in 31 games, but he hasn’t been able to keep up the momentum this season. In 10 games, he is 1-4 with a 5.15 ERA in 50⅔ innings pitched. Kikuchi went 5-1 in nine games. He’s only pitched 46⅓ innings and has a 4.08 ERA, but he’s gotten a lot of wins because of his luck.

With Manoa and Kikuchi performing at a precarious level, every outing will be an audition for the starting job until Hyun-jin Ryu returns.

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