The South Korean right-hander, who started the season as the closer but was removed from the role last month, could be back in his old job after Trevor Rosenthal was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right posterior elbow irritation Thursday (local time).
Rosenthal left Wednesday's 5-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox early. He'd converted seven consecutive save chances before his velocity dipped noticeably.
|In this Associated Press file photo taken Aug. 10, 2017, Oh Seung-hwan of the St. Louis Cardinals walks off the field during the eighth inning of a game against the Kansas City Royals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. (Yonhap)|
Oh got his last save opportunity July 8. Since then, he's pitched mostly in seventh or eighth innings, picking up six holds and posting a 3.18 ERA in the process.
For the year, Oh is 1-5 with 18 saves and a 3.46 ERA. He has struck out 51 in 52 innings.
Oh is the career saves leader in the Korea Baseball Organization. He also had a two-year stint in Japan before joining the Cardinals for the 2016 season. Last year, Oh started out as a setup man and took over from Rosenthal, who was going through a dismal season. Oh ended up converting 19 of 23 save opportunities, with a 6-3 record and a 1.92 ERA. He fanned 103 batters in 79 2/3 innings.
Oh has allowed eight homers this year, compared with five last season. His strikeout rate has dipped significantly, while his walk rate has gone up. Opponents are slugging at a .433 clip off Oh in 2017, compared with .269 last year.
Oh's sliders haven't been as sharp as they were a year ago. In June this year, when he allowed seven earned runs in 11 innings while losing two games, Oh showed just a 7 percent whiff rate (swinging strikes per swing) on his sliders. In June a year ago, the whiff rate on his sliders was 35 percent. (Yonhap)