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Closer Oh hopes to minimize mistakes in first Japanese season

South Korean pitcher Oh Seung-hwan said Thursday he hopes to keep his mistakes to a minimum as he prepares for his first season in Japan.

The new Hanshin Tigers closer left Seoul to join the Nippon Professional Baseball club on Thursday, after spending one day at home to handle administrative matters.

Oh, the all-time leader with 277 career saves in the Korea Baseball Organization here, signed a two-year deal with the Tigers in November.

Looking tanned and visibly slimmer, the 31-year-old right-hander said he’d been training hard in the Pacific island of Guam since mid-December, hoping he could stay healthy throughout 2014.

“I should be able to throw in the bullpen right away, and I think I am in better shape now than a year ago,” Oh told reporters at Gimpo International Airport in western Seoul. “I don’t really feel pressure to do well. I am more excited.”

Instead of setting any specific statistical target, Oh said he hopes to convert as many save opportunities as he can.

“My goal is to have the fewest blown saves among closers,” he said. “I will try to make adjustments along the way and study opposing hitters closely. I will also have to pay attention to runners who can steal bases.” (Yonhap News)
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