While many of the readers are still trying to figure out how to spell Seung-Hwan Oh, then figure out his stats. Let’s talk about one of the last great nicknames in baseball, “The Final Boss.”
Seung-Hwan Oh has been called by some the Mariano Rivera of Korea. In his career between Korea and Japan racked up a 32-20 record with a career 1.81 ERA (though note his past three seasons have been in the 2.50 area) while notching 357 saves in 11-seasons.
Oh will not wow you with his heater, like many Asian players, his lack of heat is offset by deception. He possesses four pitches with his traditional fastball sitting in the low-90’s.
His strength comes from his command and splits in speed with a slider that sits around 82 MPH, his curveball sits near 70 MPH.
He also uses a splitter that will offset his fastball to keep hitters off balanced.
Oh has two nicknames with, “Stone Buddha” and the previously mentioned, “Final Boss” so any confusion about his nicknames, he has two of them. As a gamer I will lean Final Boss, Stone Buddha to be needs to be a bit more pudgy than a 5’10 200lbs reliever.
Oh had been in legal trouble that may have kept him out of some teams list of targets. He was caught up in a gambling issue that would of got him suspended back home, which may have led him to finally pursuit coming stateside to avoid suspension. From my understanding it is not a gambling on the game issue like a Pete Rose, but Korean citizens can’t gamble outside of the country. Again, the few articles found tend to make it not a big deal stateside, but it is still worth noting.
The 33 year old reliever will be a great addition to the Cardinals for many reasons:
- Closer depth: Trevor Rosenthal is the closer. However due to so many close games he is prone to dead arm periods, thus last years deadline trades that brought in help like Jonathan Broxton. This move also brings in a different style pitcher from Rosenthal who can slow hitters down. Or give Rosenthal a game or two off.
- The kids: Seth Maness, Kevin Siegrist, Sam Tuivailala, Tyler Lyons, Mitch Harris, etc. There are so many young/unproven arms in the Cardinals bullpen. Outside of a Jordan Walden and Broxton there is no one who has been around for more than a couple years with success.
- Protection: It is okay to not go 7-innings every start! Oh gives the Cardinals one more solid reliever to go with Rosenthal, Maness, Siegrist. Potentially Oh will pitch about 70 innings or more which means (if he can carry over his stats) gives more confidence to Mike Matheny and Derek Lilliquist to save innings on the starters, all (but Leake) come in with health questions.
This is yet again going to be another great signing for the Cardinals that helps bolster it’s strongest asset, pitching.