The first problem child → Cy Young Award… Toronto magic, Japanese pitcher explodes again in the second year 

 Robbie Ray (32‧ Seattle) has been evaluated as having a strong pitch since childhood. He was not envious of his ability to strike out with his fiery fastball. But he couldn’t get the ball into the strike zone.

His walks per nine innings were 5.1 in 2018 with Arizona, and 4.3 in 2020. His splendid strikeout ability always followed the evaluation that “walking is a problem”. Before moving to Toronto mid-season, Ray’s walks per nine innings in an Arizona uniform in 2020 was a whopping nine, a failing grade. However, Ray reduced this number to 2.4 in 2021. It was a dramatic change.

After the 2020 season, Ray discussed balance and command adjustments with Toronto coaching staff, including Toronto pitching coach Pete Walker, and put them into action. As a result, in 2021, he threw 193⅓ innings in 32 games and achieved extraordinary results, such as recording an average ERA of 2.84 with 13 wins and 7 losses, and eventually won the American League Cy Young Award.

Ray, who came to the free agent (FA) market, hit the jackpot by signing a five-year, $115 million contract with Seattle in 2022. Ray remains an example of the Toronto coaching staff’s ability to identify and adjust pitcher anxiety.

Toronto’s eyes now turn to Yusei Kikuchi (32). Kikuchi, who signed a three-year, $36 million contract with Toronto last year, had to give up his starting position in the middle of the season due to chronic command anxiety. Kikuchi’s walks per 9 innings reached 5.2. Looking at his record of 11.1 strikeouts per 9 innings, we can see that his pitch is good, but he self-destructed by giving up walks.

Local media believes that Kikuchi could be the beneficiary of the ‘magic’ next to Rei. Kikuchi signed a rather late contract in 2021, so he didn’t have enough discussions with the Toronto coaching staff. But now it’s the second year. Toronto would have fully grasped the problem, and would have discussed enough how to change Kikuchi. Now is the time to implant the solution into your body. 먹튀검증

On the 17th (Korean time), Kikuchi pitched in the bullpen on the first day of Team Spring Training official training in Dunedin, Florida. He threw about 30 pitches according to the pitch and location requirements of his main catcher, Danny Jansen. He threw a four-seam fastball as well as a cutter and breaking ball.

During bullpen pitching, Jansen repeatedly sent a “good” signal to Kikuchi, and after the pitching was over, he and Kikuchi had a conversation about pitching. Coach Walker, who was closely watching Kikuchi from behind, also shook hands with Kikuchi and left a general review and advice on pitching that day.

Alec Manoa, who was not in the pitching group that day, but was watching his teammates pitching, also showed friendliness by raising his thumb and hugging his shoulders.

The Toronto rotation, which is supported by Kevin Gaussman, Alec Manoa, Jose Berrios and Chris Bassitt, has four definite spots. Coach John Schneider also met with reporters on the 17th and said, “This is a very interesting point,” when asked about the 5th selection, saying that Kikuchi and Mitch White are the strongest candidates to pick at this point. First of all, Kikuchi needs to take the 5th starting spot. As Ray did, attention is focusing on whether another magic can be born.

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