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Oh works scoreless debut, 'excited to join' Rox

MLB.com

DENVER -- Seunghwan Oh has arrived in Denver, and he's ready to pitch.

The right-handed reliever, whom the Rockies acquired for two Minor League outfielders, was put on the 25-man roster ahead of the Rockies game against the Athletics on Saturday night. Colorado optioned left-hander Sam Howard to Triple-A Albuquerque.

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DENVER -- Seunghwan Oh has arrived in Denver, and he's ready to pitch.

The right-handed reliever, whom the Rockies acquired for two Minor League outfielders, was put on the 25-man roster ahead of the Rockies game against the Athletics on Saturday night. Colorado optioned left-hander Sam Howard to Triple-A Albuquerque.

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Manager Bud Black put Oh straight to work on Saturday against Oakland. He worked around a single and walk in a scoreless debut in the seventh inning of Colorado's 4-1 win at Coors Field.

"Hopefully, I can continue to build on from what I showed today," Oh said through his interpreter, Eugene Koo. "The end result was not the easiest, but hopefully, I can make it better and go on from there."

Black said that Oh's strength is his assortment of pitches and how he can move the ball around the plate, which is what he did with his 22 pitches on Saturday night.

"With Oh, you're going to see a variety of pitches," Black said. "You're going to see the fastball moved around the strike zone, you're going to see the elevated fastball, you're going to see the slower breaking ball, you're going to see a lot of different pitches."

On Friday, Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich said that Oh has been on the club's radar since the offseason. Oh signed as a free agent with the Blue Jays, where he had a 2.68 ERA with 55 strikeouts and 10 walks over 47 innings.

"I heard that rumor, too, since last offseason, but I'm glad to join right now," Oh said through his interpreter, Eugene Koo. "I'm excited. Joined a little late since that rumor, but I'm happy to be here."

Video: Oh discusses joining Rockies for postseason run

Black sees Oh's role as anywhere from the sixth inning to the ninth, similar to how he was used with the Cardinals from 2016-17 and the Blue Jays. With 41 saves in three seasons in the Majors, he brings closing experience, as well as a four-pitch mix and high strikeout rate. Oh is ready for whatever role he is given in Colorado.

"He really has a baseball instinct there," Black said. "We were talking about a lot in a short amount of time, and his reaction to all of this was very calm. 'Got it, got it.' Nodding his head with assurance that he got it. He's got great baseball feel."

Instead of explaining how he pitches and what he can bring to the Rockies, Oh encouraged fans to come watch the team, which has won 17 of its last 22 and is eight games above .500, too see for themselves.

"I want to represent Korea, so I want to be known as the Korean pitcher here," Oh said. "There's a lot of good guys out here, so just contributing today, starting immediately. More than explaining about how I pitch or what kind of stuff I have, I want to show them. So hopefully a lot of fans come out and visit the ballpark a lot."

Oh, who made one previous appearance in his career in Denver, said even people in Korea know about Coors Field's reputation as hitter-friendly, but the 36-year-old didn't seem worried about the altitude. He's also excited to see Colorado and maybe even fish on off-days.

"Hopefully it's the same way I've pitched before here," he said.

LeMahieu on his way back
Second baseman DJ LeMahieu, who is on the disabled list with a left oblique injury, will swing a bat in the cage on Sunday for the first time since the injury. He worked out on Friday and ran the bases Saturday.

"I'm not good at being idle," said LeMahieu, who is eligible to return on Tuesday, although neither he nor the team have announced a return date.

Rusin hopes to heal soon
Lefty pitcher Chris Rusin, placed on the disabled list on Tuesday with left foot plantar fasciitis, said the injury began bothering him before the All-Star break.

"I was trying to see if the break would help, but I started back in Arizona and it started bothering me a little bit, and on the flight back to Denver, it started bothering me a little more," he said.

It was the second trip to the 10-day disabled list for Rusin this season. He missed nine games in April and early May with a right intercostal muscle strain. After leading the National League with 85 relief innings last season while notching a 2.65 ERA, Rusin has a 6.81 ERA over 39 2/3 this year.

Marquez's wife has son
Right-hander German Marquez, who returns to the rotation on Sunday after missing time on paternity leave, reported that he and his girlfriend, Diluanny, in Venezuela earlier this week welcomed a baby boy, Damian, who weighed in at an even 8 pounds.

Anne Rogers is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.

Colorado Rockies, Seunghwan Oh