The Cardinals organization once again shook things up within the division and Major League Baseball itself when they signed South Korean pitcher Seung-hwan Oh to a contract on Monday, January 11th. Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak.
“We felt like we wanted to do something to ramp it up,” general manager John Mozeliak said Monday at a news conference to announce the signing of Oh to a one-year contract with a club option for a second year. “He really matched up well for what we were trying to accomplish.”
According to Mozeliak, the Cardinals organization had taken an interest into (and scouted) Oh since 2009.
Born on July 15th, 1982, the 33-year old Oh began his professional career in 2005 with the Samsung Lions in Deagu, as part of the KBO (Korean Baseball Organization). In that year, he finished with a 10-1 record with an ERA of 1.18. Oh struck out 115 batters while only walking 20 in 61 games played. Over the course of the next four years, he compiled an 11-10 record until not pitching during the 2010 season.
He pitched three more seasons for Samsung before playing for Hanshin in the Japan Central League from 2013-2015. In his 11-year career, Oh has won 32 games and lost 20, an ERA of 1.81, 772 strikeouts and 149 walks. He also holds the record for saves in Korea with 277 saves (357 in total when including his saves in Japan).
With the addition of Oh, the Cardinals add another strong-arm in the bullpen with Trevor Rosenthal, Jonathan Broxton, Kevin Siegrist, Seth Maness, and Jordan Walden, who missed the majority of the 2015 season, already a big part of the team.
The 5-foot-10, 205-pound Oh was a member of the Gold medal-winning Korean Olympic team in the 2008 Olympics and he was also a member of the Korean team in the World Baseball Classic in 2006, 2009 and 2013.
It is with these accolades, along with his pure talent, that attracted the Cardinals to Oh, and now with less than 35 days till pitchers and catcher report to camp, it’s getting closer to seeing how well he will perform in a Cardinals uniform.
(J.B. Forbes/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)