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MLB All-Star Pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin Returns to S. Korean Baseball League

Written: 2024-02-22 17:46:43Updated: 2024-02-22 18:20:08

MLB All-Star Pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin Returns to S. Korean Baseball League

Photo : YONHAP News

 Anchor: Former Major League Baseball(MLB) All-Star pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin has returned to the South Korean baseball league after 12 years with a contract with his former team the Hanwha Eagles. Heads of major teams in the Korea Baseball Organization and key sports commentators say Ryu’s return could bring about seismic shifts to this season’s games. 
Our Bae Joo-yon has more. 

Report: The Eagles announced on Thursday that they signed an eight-year contract worth 17 billion won or around 12-point-eight million U.S. dollars with Ryu, making him the highest-paid player in the Korea Baseball Organization(KBO.) The contract includes an opt-out, but the Eagles did not disclose details per mutual agreement with the player.

Kia Tigers manager Lee Bum-ho said that by returning to the KBO, Ryu could shake up the nation’s baseball scene. 

Lotte Giants manager Kim Tae-hyoung, on his part, predicted that Ryu will add at least eight wins for the Eagles this season. 

Jang Sung-ho, a sports commentator for KBS N, forecast that the Eagles will grab at least 12 wins with Ryu this season. 

The average speed of Ryu’s fastball which had, at one time, reached 154 kilometers, slipped to 142-and-a-half kilometers last year.

However, experts say that apart from his fast ball, Ryu is likely to leave hitters perplexed with an array of breaking balls including his change-up.

Meanwhile, some observers say Ryu could struggle, as he has previously had four surgeries and faces tough opponents in the KBO, including Choi Jeong of the SSG Landers who had batted .362 with four home runs against Ryu. 

Bae Joo-yon, KBS World Radio News.

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