For the sixth straight year, we’re taking a look back at everyone that played for the St. Louis Cardinals this season. Whether they were a major contributor or a bit player, here all year or for just a little while, we’ll look at their season and talk about what went right and what went wrong. The stat line listed is just their time in St. Louis, though splits and other numbers in the discussion may be for the entire year. Imagine this as them stopping by Mike Matheny‘s office for a little review on their way home for the winter. As always when you see incredible artistry in the blogs, all credit for the header work goes to @cardinalsgifs.
Player: Seung-hwan Oh
Season stats: 1-6, 20 SV, 4.10 ERA, 62 games, 59.1 IP, 68 H, 15 BB, 54 K, 1.399 WHIP, 4.44 FIP, -0.1 bWAR
Hero/Goat: Goat 8
Overall grade: D
Positives: Tabulated more saves (one more) than he did in 2016….pitched 14.1 innings from May 5 to June 6 and only was scored upon once….had a similar stretch from July 19 to August 16 where he had an 0.82 ERA….had exactly the same number of games finished, saves, and innings pitched at home as on the road….when he got the save, he had a 1.83 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 19.1 innings….batters hit .216 when there were two outs in an inning….they hit .194 when there were two outs and runners in scoring position….had a .436 OPS against on three days of rest.
Negatives: Lost the closer role around the end of July, which was probably later than he should have….allowed 10 home runs, which was double what he allowed last year, in 20 less innings….his K/9 dropped by over three….allowed 10.3 hits per nine innings….lefties had a 1.006 OPS against him and they hit seven of the 10 home runs….had a 4.55 ERA at Busch Stadium….had a 5.30 ERA in the second half….pitched in five games in September but allowed a 1.139 OPS….batters hit .279 with runners in scoring position….six of the 10 homers came in high leverage situations….hitters had a .908 OPS against him when he was on zero days’ rest….had a 5.79 ERA against the Cubs, though his one win came against them.
Overview: Given how Oh and Aledmys Diaz plummeted after a solid 2016, it’s not surprising that we don’t trust anyone without a track record right now. With the addition of Brett Cecil, the bullpen was supposed to be a big strength with Cecil, Kevin Siegrist, Trevor Rosenthal, and Oh. Out of the four, only Rosenthal was close to expectations and then he got hurt. Oh seemed to be unable get his slider working and that led to the marked increase in home runs. The results against lefties meant that you could not put him out there unless a righty was batting, something that seemed to take a while for the manager to figure out. It was an overall disaster and it started from the very beginning, when he allowed three runs to the Cubs in his first appearance.
Outlook: Oh is a free agent now and has expressed interest in staying in MLB and not returning to the Korean or Japanese leagues. It wouldn’t be too surprising if someone took a flier on him, hoping that there could be some adjustments that would get him back to the 2016 levels. That team won’t be the Cardinals, however, and if he does stay in the bigs it will be interesting to see what happens when and if the Redbirds have to face him.