The Toronto Blue Jays changed the starting rotation order. Kikuchi Yusei (32) replaced Ryu Hyun-jin (36). It was a decision that reflected Toronto’s desperation to confirm fall baseball as soon as possible.
Toronto announced Kikuchi as the starting pitcher for the home game against the Tampa Bay Rays on the 30th (Korean time). According to the original order, it would have been Ryu Hyun-jin’s turn to appear, but Kikuchi’s appearance was moved up a day. Kikuchi will take the starting mound today after taking a four-day rest after the Tampa Bay game on the 25th.
The American ‘The Athletic’ reported this news on the 29th, saying, ‘The most important thing for Toronto is to confirm postseason advancement by October 1st at the latest,’ and said that in order to use ace Kevin Gausman in the first game of the wild card series, they must move as soon as possible in the fall. He said baseball needs to be confirmed.
‘To emphasize the desperation for victory, Toronto coach John Schneider changed the rotation by replacing Ryu Hyun-jin with Kikuchi as the starter on the first day of the three-game series against Tampa Bay. He explained, “The selection for October 1st has not yet been decided.” As the situation is fluid, Toronto has not yet announced its selection for the October 1-2 match against Tampa Bay. Canada’s ‘Sportsnet’ predicted that ‘Ryu Hyun-jin’s appearance will be postponed to the second game on October 1st.’
The purpose of Toronto’s decision is to quickly confirm fall baseball by putting Kikuchi, who has a slightly higher chance of winning, a day early. After undergoing Tommy John surgery and rehabilitation, Ryu Hyun-jin returned to the non-league in early August and showed his health with 3 wins, 3 losses, and an ERA of 3.31 in 10 games (49 innings). He pitched his poorest pitch of the season, striking out 5 runs and allowing 5 runs.
Kikuchi is having his best season since his major league debut in 2019 with 10 wins, 6 losses, and an average ERA of 3.82 in 31 games (162 ⅔ innings) this year. He struggled this year with 3 games against Tampa Bay, 1 win, 1 loss, and an average ERA of 5.40, but his career record was good with 8 games, 4 wins, 1 loss, and an average ERA of 3.23.
Ryu Hyun-jin wasn’t bad either, with an ERA of 3.72 with no wins or losses in six games against Tampa Bay, but the Toronto coaching staff decided to hire Kikuchi. He seems to have placed more emphasis on the side with a better chance of winning, given his recent pitch and form.
With the last three games of the season remaining, Toronto is in second place in the American League wild card, leaving the postseason confirmed magic number of ‘2’. If Toronto defeats Tampa Bay on this day and the Seattle Mariners lose to the Texas Rangers, they will advance to the postseason. For Toronto, this is the best scenario. 먹튀검증
However, if not, the burden will increase on Ryu Hyun-jin, who is likely to start on October 1st. If they don’t finish with Ryu Hyun-jin, the worst situation could happen where they end up having to use Gausman as the starter in the final game. If this happens, the wild card series will be greatly disrupted.
As the wild card competition continues until the end of the season, Toronto, which is in an advantageous position, is also considering various possibilities. I wonder what the outcome of this decision to swap the starting order of Ryu Hyun-jin and Kikuchi will be