The St. Louis Cardinals are certainly delighted upon seeing an early reward of the risk they took when they signed veteran reliever Seung-hwan Oh to boost the team’s bullpen depth. The newest member of the pitching rotation delivered in his very first game for the Cardinals, needing only 12 pitches to impress everyone and in the process defeat the Florida Atlantic University, 13-6, in an exhibition game last Wednesday.
In a report from the Associated Press via ESPN, team manager Mike Matheny sounded satisfied with the Korean-born pitcher. “Kind of what we thought we would see… He’s just got a real good idea how to use his stuff,” he said.
The reliever made his first in-game appearance with a lot to prove and he showed everyone else what he can do, in spite of the fact that his age was a huge determining factor why only a few teams in the league took notice of him. Matheny referred to him as a “flexible” pitcher who can conveniently throw a two-seam fastball and a four-seam fastball that can reach up to 97 mph. He also is known for his cut fastball. He also comes equipped with varying speeds for his sliders.
The Cardinals don’t want to make a big deal out of it, especially with an exhibition competition primarily composed of young college players. But if there was a way to impress, the Japanese league veteran surely succeeded.
Before moving over to the United States, Oh played in his native South Korea in the KBO League, and then followed that up with a stint in the Nippon Professional Baseball league in Japan, widely considered as Asia’s premium baseball league. He made a name for himself in Japan as one of the best relief pitchers who does not give in to pressure. He also is regarded as one of the best ever closers in all of Korean baseball.