Los Angeles Dodgers' left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin made his spring debut on Monday, pitching in the unofficial B game against the Chicago White Sox’s minor leaguers on the back fields of Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona. The South Korean pitcher allowed a run on three hits in 2⅔ innings, throwing 22 strikes out of 36 pitches.
Ryu was already known for his curve balls in the KBO League, pitching the four types of balls at perfect command including a four-seam fastball, change-up, slider and curve. According to Brooks Baseball statistics, he threw the curve at 15.7 percent in 2017. His slow curve (averaging 116 km/h) was effective, with batters hitting just 0.157 against his curve last year.
Still, Ryu seems to be trying to refine his curve skills this season. The reason he had trouble commanding his curveball Monday was also because he cared more about the “spin rate.”
“I tried to throw a harder curveball with more spin today.” Ryu said. “I always knew in theory that if you put more spin on it, it would be tougher on the hitters, but never really had a chance to try it out during the season. But since this is spring training, you get to try new stuff.”
Heon-Jae Lee firstname.lastname@example.org