Last year, the Cards unsuccessfully bid on Jung Ho Kang, who went to Pittsburgh and had success before getting injured. This year they bid, unsuccessfully on First Baseman Byung-Ho Park, who ended up going to Minnesota.
Apparently the third time is the charm, as they signed closer Seung-Hwan Oh.
What do all three of these players have in common? They’re from Korea.
Until Kang came over and had success, teams were skeptical about Korean players. Now that he’s proven that can indeed succeed, teams are taking a closer look at the Korean market.
Which leads us to Oh.
The guy is no spring chicken. He’s 33 years old, and has 357 career saves, 41 of which came last year, proving he’s still got some good stuff, and knows how to pitch well under pressure.
My question is where does he fit?
Assumably he was signed to be a setup man, but with Kevin Siegrist and the re-signed Jonathan Broxton, we have two guys who can fill that role, and I doubt Mo did this just to sign a middle reliever. Siegrist, Broxton and Trevor Rosenthal are already capable of shortening games, so why this guy?
My guess would be he’ll be the guy to give the others a break. Siegrist did pitch in 81 games last year, and Rosie showed up in 68, and i expect Broxton will get his fair share as well (he was in 66 total between the Cards and Brewers.)
That’d be where Oh comes in. He’d shift between setup man and emergency closer, and keep everybody fresh. Of course at 33, there might be some concern about keeping *him* fresh, but i think, with three guys sharing the setup and emergency closer roles, their workload, and Rosie’s, will be manageable.
I think that’s the theory anyway, we’ll see how it actually works.
As always, thanks for reading.