Hanwha catcher Choi Jae-hoon (35) shared a battery with Ryu Hyun-jin (37) in his first live pitching session since joining the team at Gochinda Stadium in Okinawa, Japan, on Feb. 2. Choi, who received 65 pitches from Ryu, said, “His pitches are very good for catchers. I don’t have to move,” Choi said.

Ryu, who has turned the team into a powerhouse with his comeback alone, made a fresh impact with one live pitch. Hanwha was stunned by his next-level fastball, which felt like a computer game.

After signing with Hanwha on February 22, Ryu joined the Okinawa camp the next day and immediately began pitching out of the bullpen. On that day, manager Choi Won-ho praised his “artistic pitching” and selected him as the opening day starter.

While Ryu was training in Korea without a team, he continued to practice pitching privately. However, there were concerns that his first live pitch might be a little shaky as he had only pitched indoors, but Ryu impressed everyone with his flawless command. “His delivery is an art,” said Choi Won-ho, “I saw it from behind, and the tip of the ball is good. He throws all his fastballs to the corners of the (strike zone). When you’re pitching live at this time of year, it’s easy to throw a changeup that’s a little too far out, but Ryu just sinks it. I don’t know how he throws it like that.”

Ryu threw 65 pitches on the day, mixing five different pitches: fastball, cut fastball, slider, changeup, and curveball. Each of the five pitches was tested at 20 percent. Four young hitters took turns at bat – Kim Tae-yeon, Park Sang-un, Lee Sang-hyuk, and Jang Kyu-yeon – and one of them, against Lee Sang-hyuk, was hit on the body. Other than that one pitch, all were judged to be perfectly pitched. Ryu also made a strong impression with his unflappable pitches, despite the fact that he was pitching live in front of a very large group of people, including reporters, fans, and club officials.

As much as there is excitement about Ryu Hyun-jin’s return to Korea after signing with Hanwha, there are also concerns. He came to Hanwha in the offseason after rehabbing for a year from elbow ligament reconstruction surgery and pitching 11 games in the second half of last season. In his live pitching session, his fastball was only 139 kilometers per hour. At a time when there are pitchers who can already throw up to 153 kilometers per hour, the “monster” Ryu’s top 토토사이트 velocity may seem surprising. However, Choi Won-ho said, “I saw his command was very good, but I was a little worried because his fastball didn’t reach 140 kilometers. But when I talked to him after he pitched, he said it was two to three kilometers higher than in the United States at this time of year. So I thought, ‘There’s room for improvement,'” he said.

Ryu is a different pitcher than the one who pitched for Hanwha in the past. His velocity has dropped due to several injuries and surgeries, but he has added a variety of pitches to his arsenal and is now a pitcher who relies on his command. In the live pitching session, he showed that his pitches and command are now so close to perfection that catchers feel like they are playing ‘computer baseball’. The “139 mph fastball” doesn’t mean much now. Ryu plans to pitch three more live games before the regular season begins.


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