Ryu Hyun-jin likely to pitch in 2 preseason games before KBO Opening Day start: manager

In this file photo from Feb. 25, Hanwha Eagles pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin plays catch during spring training at Kochinda Baseball Field in Yaese, Japan. Yonhap

Former major league All-Star Ryu Hyun-jin will likely make two preseason appearances before marking his much-anticipated regular season return to the top South Korean league, his manager said Monday. Ryu and the Hanwha Eagles returned home Monday from their spring training in Okinawa, Japan. Ryu, the 2019 National League All-Star Game starter, reunited with the Eagles on an eight-year contract on Feb. 22, and flew to Okinawa to report to camp the following day. His deal, worth 17 billion won (US$12.8 million), is the largest in the history of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO).Ryu, who first pitched for the Eagles from 2006 to 2012, will be a no-brainer choice for the club’s Opening Day tilt against the defending champions LG Twins on March 23 in Seoul. And Eagles manager Choi Won-ho said Monday the team will work the schedule backward from that point to ensure Ryu will get in enough work and also have some rest before the start of the regular season. While in Okinawa, Ryu threw a live batting practice and had some bullpen sessions.

“He will pitch in a scrimmage on Thursday, on four days’ rest after his live batting practice,” Choi told reporters at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul. “And then he will pitch about twice with four days of break in between during the preseason. And he will have five days off before the Opening Day start.” The exhibition season starts Saturday. By Choi’s planning, Ryu is lined up to start against the Kia Tigers on March 12 and then against the Lotte Giants on March 17.Ryu’s return will be one of the biggest storylines in the KBO this season. He was one of the most dominant starters in South Korea during his first stint, winning the MVP and the Rookie of the Year award in 2006 when he led the league in wins, ERA and strikeouts. 슬롯게이밍 He led the KBO in ERA twice and in strikeouts five times.

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