“Korean Monster” Ryu Hyun-jin (36-Toronto Blue Jays-photo) pitched in a live game for the first time in 13 months and 398 days, showing that his rehabilitation has gone well. Ryu, who underwent surgery in June last year and was targeting a July return, could be back on a major league mound as early as this month.

Ryu started a game against the FCL Tigers of Major League Baseball’s Rookie League on Friday at Toronto’s spring training facility in Dunedin, Florida, and threw 42 pitches in three innings, allowing one run on four hits with five strikeouts. He did not walk a batter.

Ryu was removed early from a home game against the Chicago White Sox on June 2 last year after complaining of elbow pain while pitching, and was diagnosed with an ulnar collateral ligament injury in his left elbow and went on the operating table to undergo elbow ligament splicing surgery (Tommy John surgery). It was his second elbow ligament splicing surgery in 18 years, having undergone the procedure in 2004 when he was a sophomore at Dongshan High School.스포츠토토

Ryu, who improved his physical condition by pitching out of the bullpen in May and live in June, threw his first live game in 398 days. “He is now expected to move to a higher-level league for a rehabilitation game,” said CBS Sports in the U.S. “If he is ready, he could join the Major League Baseball (MLB) starting rotation within the month.”

Local media outlets provided more details. “Ryu threw a total of 42 pitches, with his fastball sitting between 87 and 88 miles per hour (about 140 and 142 kilometers per hour),” MLB.com reported. “That’s just two to three miles (three to five kilometers) shy of his normal velocity.”

Ryu, who signed a four-year, $80 million contract with Toronto in December 2019, will become a free agent after this season. Whether or not he stays on a major league mound will depend on how well he performs when he returns at the start of the second half as scheduled.

Meanwhile, Kim Ha-seong (28) of the San Diego Padres pitched against Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles Angels) for the first time in his career. Starting in the leadoff spot and batting second against the Angels at Petco Park in San Diego, California, Kim gave up a grounder and a single in his first two at-bats against Ohtani, but in the fifth inning with the bases loaded and the score 2-1, Kim pulled a four-seam fastball from Ohtani for a single to left field. Kim then stole second in the seventh inning after being hit by a pitch.

In the first meeting between Kim and Ohtani, the pitcher went 1-for-3 with a run scored. Oh, who celebrated his birthday on the same day, struggled in his final start of the first half, giving up five runs (five earned) on seven hits (two home runs) and four walks in five innings, dropping to 4-7 on the season. He was also silent at the plate, going 0-for-3.

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