It’s a turning point in my life. Yusei Kikuchi (Toronto Blue Jays),먹튀검증 who seemed likely to be kicked out of the starting lineup when Ryu Hyun-jin returns, was selected as a level-up star.

Kikuchi fell into a terrible nine moves. After earning his 9th win of the season with 6 hits, 3 strikeouts, 1 walk, and 1 run in 6 innings against the Baltimore Orioles on August 3, he failed to add wins for 6 consecutive games. In these 6 games, he had 2 losses and an earned run average of 3.24.

Yusei Kikuchi./Getty Images Korea

Yusei Kikuchi./Getty Images Korea
Kikuchi has been consistent this season. 4 wins in 5 games in April with an ERA of 3.00, 2 wins and 2 losses in 6 games in May with an ERA of 5.83, 1 win in 5 games in June with an ERA of 2.28, 1 win in 5 games in July with an ERA of 3.91, 5 games in August. 1 win, 1 loss, 3.03 ERA, 1 loss in 2 games in September, 2.79 ERA. It is consistent except for May.

Even though he was caught in nine moves, he had 9 wins, 5 losses, and an average ERA of 3.57 in 28 games. This is his best year since becoming a major leaguer with the Seattle Mariners in 2019. During that time, I had a lot of ups and downs. There were many cases where he suddenly collapsed after being walked or hit in a row. He can do that with the fast ball, but he rarely complements it.

However, this year, as he refined his pitching mechanics, he improved significantly. He started making pitches that counted even when he got hit. When Ryu Hyun-jin returned in August, he was considered the top priority for bullpen demotion, but now he and Ryu Hyun-jin coexist. No, it has become something that cannot be lived without.

On the 11th (Korean time), Bleacher Report included Kikuchi among the 11 players who improved their level this season. It was pointed out that consistency has been lacking so far. But “certainly he had to change some things, and he did. “He started throwing a high fastball and embraced the curveball, which he had only played around with last season.”

Bleacher Potts continued, “With these changes, the walk rate and batting speed have improved significantly, which is a good thing. “As a result, Kikuchi is not having a great first year in the major leagues, but this is the first time he has sustained a good pitcher throughout the season.”

According to Baseball Savant, Kikuchi barely threw an actual curveball at 0.3% last year, but it rose to 17.9% this year. He has a hitting percentage of 0.282, but also induces 32.1% of missed swings. The walk rate allowed decreased from 12.8% last year to 6.9% this year. In addition, the barrel hit rate allowed also dropped from 14.8% last year to 8.5% this year. The hard hit allowance rate decreased from 47.9% last year to 41.4% this year.

Yusei Kikuchi./Getty Images Korea

Yusei Kikuchi./Getty Images Korea
Kikuchi is in the second season of a three-year, $36 million (approximately 48 billion won) contract. If he maintains his grades next year, there is a good chance he will be treated well in the 2024-2025 free agent market. Although he will be 33 years old next year, he is not very old. If Ryu Hyun-jin, who is eligible to become a free agent at the end of this season, parts ways with Toronto, Kikuchi’s position in the team will expand further.

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