Now, it seems that Hyun-jin Ryu will not have to worry about the Toronto Blue Jays’ 5th starting pitcher.
Yusei Kikuchi (32) started the 2023 major league home game against the Tampa Bay Rays held at Rogers Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on the 16th (hereinafter Korean time), 6 innings, 4 hits (1 home run), 9 strikeouts, 1 walk, 1 run. got 2 wins His earned run average is 4.70.
Kikuchi is in the second season of a three-year, $36 million (approximately 47.1 billion won) contract. 2022 was a nightmare. He had a 5.19 earned run average with 6 wins, 7 losses and 1 save in 32 games. He even suffered the humiliation of being demoted to the bullpen mid-season. The chronic problem of hunting for balls and excessive walks has not been resolved.안전놀이터
But Kikuchi is showing signs of change this year. He started in 6 games out of 7 exhibition games, and went 2-1 with an ERA of 0.87. He gave up just 11 walks and nine hits while striking out 31 in 20⅔ innings. His earned run was only 2.
According to foreign media such as MLB.com, Kikuchi worked on improving his arm swing this offseason. He is seeing the effect of correcting the swing trajectory and mechanics more and more. In the regular season, along with this day, it was good with 3 hits (1 home run), 2 strikeouts and 1 run in 5 innings against the Kansas City Royals. On the 10th, against the Los Angeles Angels in high school, he was hit by a home run by Shohei Ohtani, his junior, and was sluggish with 9 hits (3 homers), 6 strikeouts, 1 walk and 6 runs in 4.1 innings, but he recovered right away that day. In other words, it is not the Kikuchi of the past.
On this day, Kikuchi made a stable pitch from the first inning with a four-seam, slider, and changeup combination of around 95 to 96 miles. In the 3rd inning, with 1 out and 1st and 2nd base, the slider used by Isaac Paredis was a misfire, but it was treated as a fly ball by the shortstop. He distracted Landia Rozarena with a 96 mph high fastball, then struck out looking with a low-laying slider, which was the highlight.
In the fourth inning, a 93-mile four-seam from Taylor Walls went high, and it was clear that he was hit with a left-handed solo shot. However, he struck out Manuel Margot on a swing with a slider and struck out Francisco Mayha on a swing with a 96 mph four-seam. The 5th and 6th episodes were treated as a three-way crime one after another, and the season’s first quality start was successful. Toronto’s 5-2 win was Kikuchi’s second win of the season.
At this point, Kikuchi is more stable than Jose Berrios or new face Chris Bassett. Last year’s ace, Alec Manoa, also showed ups and downs. Kikuchi, along with Kevin Gaussman, has emerged as the most stable card in practice at this point. I refuse to eat and run anymore.