Toronto manager John Schneider made a video call to Alec Manoa, 25, on Wednesday after he was removed from the major league roster due to poor performance. He wanted to check in on him and see how his training was going.

Inadvertently, Schneider was able to catch up with two key players in one video call. Ryu Hyun-jin, 36, who has been in long-term rehabilitation for more than a year after undergoing elbow ligament reconstruction surgery (Tommy John surgery), appeared next to him. “I talked to them on Facetime (video call), and they were there,” Schneider told local media about the episode.

Since making his major league debut in 2021, Manoa has been on a roll. After going 9-2 with a 3.22 ERA in 20 games in 2021, he had a breakout year last year, going 16-7 with a 2.24 ERA in 31 games and 196⅔ innings pitched. He was an ace among aces anchoring Toronto’s starting rotation. He finished third in the American League Cy Young Award voting and was part of Toronto’s recent Cy Young race hype.

This year, however, he fell off a cliff. It wasn’t a bad elbow, a bad shoulder, or any other body part that was bothering him. In 13 games and 58 innings pitched this season, his record was a dismal 1-7 with a 6.36 ERA. Even if you don’t want his command, his pitches were bad. His walk rate spiked to 6.52 per nine innings.

Eventually, Toronto demoted Manoa to the minors on July 7. Not to Triple-A, but to the team’s training facility in Dunedin, Florida. The idea was that he needed to be torn down and rebuilt from the ground up, instead of just playing and doing something. It wasn’t easy to give up on Manoa, but we knew we had to make a decision now if we wanted to mount a late-season comeback.

One of the first people to visit Manoa upon his arrival in Florida was Ryu Hyun-jin. Ryu is also currently rehabbing at the team’s training facility. Ryu and Manoa are arguably the best bromance in Toronto. When Manoah was making his major league debut, Ryu was the team’s ace, and Manoah was always hanging around him, asking him questions. Ryu didn’t mind, either, and took special care of Manoa.

Manoa praises Ryu’s character, saying, “He’s a very good person before he’s a great player.” Ryu takes good care of Manoa, inviting her to his home and cooking her kimchi stew. “She loves kimchi stew. He even rolls his rice in it,” Ryu laughs. It’s no wonder that Manoa sought out Ryu as soon as he went to Florida.

Schneider sees the relationship between the two players as a positive one. “I think it’s good to have a friend that you can confide in a little bit,” Schneider said. He thinks it’s helpful for Manoa to have someone to share his struggles with and to work through them with. One of Manoa’s closest allies is Ryu Hyun-jin, who has known him since his major league debut.

Ryu has been through a lot of tough times since he reached the majors, including two shoulder surgeries and an elbow surgery, so his advice could be valuable. “He’s gone through his own ups and downs in his career, too, and it’s good to have them together,” Schneider said with a smile. Sometimes, a teammate’s story can be more relatable than that of the coaching staff. The players do what the coaches can’t do. That’s what veterans do.

The two players are notable because they are essential to Toronto’s late-season comeback. Manoa may have had a down year, but he already showed tremendous highs last year. He’s not expected to return to the majors anytime soon, but if he can get his pitches back in balance and find his old velocity, he could be an ace. He’s still young at 25 years old. He needs to lead Toronto’s starting rotation, not just this year, but for years to come. The importance of making adjustments now cannot be overstated.스포츠토토

Hyun-jin Ryu is Toronto”s left-handed ace. Despite missing over a year due to elbow surgery, there are always high expectations when he’s healthy. With his elbow pain gone, some believe he’ll be able to throw better pitches when he’s healthy. Schneider even said, “Ryu will be in the starting rotation as soon as he comes back.” It will be interesting to see if their kimchi stew bromance can provide the impetus for Toronto to turn things around in the second half.

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