It is no longer a scam. It’s a real 2 pick.
Yusei Kikuchi (32, Toronto Blue Jays) once again fought back. On the 22nd (hereafter Korean time), he started the 2023 major league away game against the New York Yankees held at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, USA, won 3 wins of the season with 4 hits, 3 strikeouts, 2 walks and 1 run in 6 innings.
Kikuchi is in the second season of a three-year, $36 million (approximately 48 billion won) contract. After collapsing with an average ERA of 5.19 with 6 wins and 7 losses in 32 games in the 2022 season, he prepared steadily for this season. According to foreign media such as MLB.com, Kikuchi worked on refining his arm swing and overall mechanics.
As a result, in 7 demonstration games, he left a good record of 2 wins and 1 loss with an average ERA of 0.87. Proving that it was no coincidence in the regular season. He gave up 20 hits (6 home runs), 20 strikeouts, 5 walks and 9 runs in 4 games, 20⅓ innings. Except for the collapse with 9 hits (3 homers), 6 strikeouts, 1 walk and 6 runs in 4⅓ innings against the Los Angeles Angels on the 10th, the remaining 3 games were very stable. Quality starts in the last 2 games including this day.
Hits are not insignificant, but the ups and downs of the ball have been noticeably reduced. The outrageous walks have disappeared. On this day, against Aaron Judge, a slugger in the first inning, both the slider and changeup on the 2nd and 4th pitches were laid low, and the looking strikeout was caught. In the second inning, Oswaldo Cabrera went four-seam awkwardly and got a solo shot, but after that, he steadily dragged it up to the 6th inning. He didn’t strike out a lot, but the command of his changeup and slider was good. The four-seam went up to 96 mph. 메이저놀이터
Toronto’s starting lineup is very bad right now. Up to Kikuchi’s start that day, the five starters played four games each. Alec Manoa, third in Cy Young last year, has an average ERA of 6.98 with 1 win and 1 loss, Jose Berrios, who fell into a scam, has an average ERA of 6.23 with 1 win and 3 losses, and transfer student Chris Bassett has an average ERA of 5.40 with 2 wins and 2 losses. At least Kevin Gaussman is a little better. 1 win 2 losses ERA 3.65.
Practically, Gaussman and Kikuchi are one-two punches. Kikuchi has the most wins on the team and has the second lowest ERA among starting pitchers after Gaussman. The sample is still small, but at this point, Kikuchi should be considered to have metamorphosed.
In May, the Toronto starting lineup desperately needs a rebound. Can we survive all at once? Maybe Kikuchi should make a one-two punch with Ryu Hyun-jin, who will return after July. Of course, Kikuchi also needs to be tested for continuity in long-term races. The beginning of the season is difficult for the Toronto starting lineup. Kikuchi revealed his hopes for a great reversal.