Twenty-six percent of pitchers in Major League Baseball have had elbow ligament splicing, also known as Tommy John surgery. Pitching puts a tremendous amount of stress on the inside of the elbow when throwing a ball, and while there is training to strengthen the muscles, there is no training to strengthen the ligaments. In 1974, pitcher Tommy John first underwent this surgery, which is still known as Tommy John surgery.
In the 50 years since then, it”s become more common and has a very high success rate, but it”s not common to have it done more than once. It’s even rarer for pitchers to perform well after a second surgery. Walker Buehler (LA Dodgers), who underwent his first Tommy John surgery in 2015 at the age of 20, underwent a second surgery last year, seven years later. He will return to the field next April, 20 months after the surgery.
Ryu Hyun-jin, who underwent his first Tommy John surgery in 2004 at the age of 18, underwent a second surgery last year, 18 years later. He returned 14 months later. Compared to the likes of Genta Maeda (Minnesota), who took 19 months to recover from his first surgery, and John Minnes (Baltimore), who returned 17 months after his first surgery, Ryu’s 14-month return was worrisome.
Striking out batters with a 100 kilometer per hour slower curveball
As of September 21, Ryu has appeared in nine games and has an impressive 3-3 record with a 2.62 ERA. He’s held all eight of his starts to three runs or fewer, except for his four-run comeback, and his .229 batting average is better than his runner-up Cy Young season in 2019 (.234). Even more surprising is that Ryu’s average fastball velocity, 142 kilometers per hour, is the lowest it’s been since his major league debut. It’s a whopping 4 kilometers slower than his 2019 Cy Young runner-up season (146).
Ryu is currently the slowest of Toronto’s five starting pitchers. He’s a whopping 11 kilometers behind the fastest, Yusei Kikuchi (153), and 7 kilometers behind the second slowest, Chris Bassett (149). However, Ryu has the lowest percentage of hard-hit balls over 95 mph (about 153 kilometers) among the five starters. What is the secret to Ryu’s ability to defy the “law of velocity,” which is like the law of gravity for pitchers?
Felix Hernandez, nicknamed “King Felix” in reference to basketball’s LeBron James, won the 2010 American League Cy Young Award with a fastball that averaged 151 kilometers per hour. But when his velocity dropped 5 mph, he began to falter. With only 26 wins after his 30s, Hernandez eventually retired after 169 wins. 레고토토
When Zack Greinke won the 2009 Cy Young Award, he averaged the same velocity as Hernandez: 151 kilometers per hour. However, Greinke remained competitive even after a similar decline in velocity as Hernandez. With a whopping 118 wins since entering his 30s, Greinke is still going strong, earning him a spot in the Hall of Fame, a distinction granted to only 1% of players.