Kikuchi-Ryu Hyun-jin swap order, why was Kikuchi PS Bullpen Appointed?
Toronto Blue Jays adjusted their starting rotation at the end of the season, why?
Toronto will start Yusei Kikuchi in the home game against the Tampa Bay Rays on the 30th (Korea Standard Time), but Ryu Hyun-jin, who initially lined up, was pushed back a day.
It is common for teams competing in the postseason to adjust their starting rotation order at the end of the season.
This move also seems to have nothing to do with the postseason.
Toronto coach John Schneider said in a pre-game interview that day, “If things go the way we want, he (Kikuchi) will be able to throw a little earlier.”
If Kikuchi pitches on this day, he can pitch in the first game of the wild card after a three-day break. If he rests for 4 days, he can even look forward to appearing in Game 2.
It is possible to prepare for all situations, from the bullpen to the starting pitcher. Considering that the schedule was pushed back an extra day, it seems likely that he will be used as a bullpen.
Regarding the issue of Kikuchi’s postseason selection, Schneider gave an open answer, saying, “We think he is a very good pitcher.”
Kikuchi was demoted to the bullpen last season. He recorded an ERA of 4.91 in 12 games as a bullpen, showing better results than as a starter (5.25 in 20 games).
Manager Schneider said, “When he went down to the bullpen last year, he looked like a different person. He showed off his ability to throw aggressively. I think his performance back then will continue in his starting pitching this year. “He is not worried about the big stage and is ready to appear in any situation,” commented Kikuchi.
Using Kikuchi in the bullpen in the postseason doesn’t mean he was a bad starting pitcher. He pitched 162 2/3 innings in 31 games this season, going 10 wins, 6 losses, and an ERA of 3.82.
“Command is important,” Schneider said. He commented, “If he can command his pitch, he is a pitcher who can pitch more efficiently,” and added, “If you look at what he showed throughout the season, he performed well consistently and had a really good season. He praised Kikuchi’s efforts, saying, “Although his consistency is underrated, he was better than any other player.”
Meanwhile, if Toronto wins against Tampa Bay on this day and the Seattle Mariners lose to the Texas Rangers, they will advance to the postseason.
After winning the game that day, they could wait for the Seattle game, which starts at 10 PM Eastern Time, to celebrate advancing to the postseason.