Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Oh could bridge gap to 9th for Blue Jays

Veteran righty has experience setting up and closing in the Majors
Special to MLB.com

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Blue Jays announced the signing of free-agent right-hander Seung Hwan Oh on Monday, and he'll be a candidate to bridge the gap to the ninth.

Following an 11-year career in Korea and Japan, Oh, 35, was with the Cardinals the last two seasons. In that time, the South Korea native posted a 7-9 record with 39 saves and a 2.85 ERA in 138 appearances. Last season, he went 1-6 with 19 saves and a 4.10 ERA in 62 appearances.

View Full Game Coverage

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Blue Jays announced the signing of free-agent right-hander Seung Hwan Oh on Monday, and he'll be a candidate to bridge the gap to the ninth.

Following an 11-year career in Korea and Japan, Oh, 35, was with the Cardinals the last two seasons. In that time, the South Korea native posted a 7-9 record with 39 saves and a 2.85 ERA in 138 appearances. Last season, he went 1-6 with 19 saves and a 4.10 ERA in 62 appearances.

View Full Game Coverage

The deal could help bridge the gap to closer Roberto Osuna.

Before the deal was official, bench coach DeMarlo Hale, who was the acting manager for Monday's 7-4 loss to the Rays, while John Gibbons was away from the team, spoke in generic terms of what a pitcher of Oh's caliber brings to a staff.

"It just strengthens [the staff], if that happens," he said. "You're talking about a veteran. We've seen some of his success that he's had in the big leagues over the last two years. It strengthens the bullpen, pushes depth down back to the Minor Leagues."

Bullpen battle
Two non-roster invitees, left-hander Craig Breslow and right-hander Al Alburquerque, appeared in Monday's game against the Rays. Breslow went one inning, allowing a run on two hits, including a home run to Jason Coats, with two strikeouts. Albuquerque went one scoreless inning, giving up a hit with one strikeout. Breslow is working on a lower arm slot this spring.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

"So he understands that there's going to be some adjustments," Hale said. "I thought he threw some pitches pretty good that weren't called strikes. But, overall, I thought the ball was down until the one he got up, that was the home run. But he's a pitcher that knows how to pitch.

"Albuquerque, same thing. He's going to throw the fastball-slider, and sure enough he worked like that and he got some outs with his fastball late. That's Al."

Youth has its place
The Blue Jays had a relatively young starting lineup facing the Rays on Monday. Three have yet to make their Major League debuts: shortstop Lourdes Gurriel, designated hitter Max Pentecost, and first baseman Jason Leblebijian. Second baseman Richard Urena had 21 big league games last season, while center fielder Anthony Alford had four. Left fielder Teoscar Hernandez appeared in 68 Major League games over the last two seasons, and catcher Luke Maile has appeared in 103 since 2015.

Hale is interested to see what the youngsters can do this spring.

"For me, I continue to evaluate Hernandez, because he's in that mix," Hale said. "These are guys who are fighting for a position on this team. Maile defensively. So there's a few people that we definitely keep an eye on. The development of Richard [Urena]. He's playing second today. Gurriel is playing short. We kind of flip-flopped those guys because we want them both to be comfortable. But more important, we need to evaluate those guys at those positions. There's a few things, no doubt."

Alford went 1-for-3 with a two-run homer off right-hander Andrew Kittredge. Gurriel went 2-for-3.

"Alford, the home run, he's capable of doing that," Hale said. "Gurriel, the shortstop, he got a couple of hits and handled himself well.

"There's some talent out there. ... Overall, we always -- well, I know I can -- take out some good things from the game, and hopefully apply it and remind those guys. The bad things, you also remind them so they can make an adjustment the next time."

Up next
The Blue Jays host the Yankees at 1:07 p.m. ET Tuesday. Right-hander Marco Estrada is scheduled to start for the Blue Jays, making his Grapefruit League season debut. Right-hander Chad Green is scheduled to start for the Yankees. Listen to the exclusive webcast on bluejays.com.

Maureen Mullen is a contributor to MLB.com

Toronto Blue Jays, Seung Hwan Oh