Rockies right-handed reliever Seunghwan Oh is set to undergo season-ending surgery on his elbow to remove loose particles, Kyle Newman of the Denver Post reports. It’s the second bit of unwelcome health news of the night for the Rockies, who previously lost infielder Brendan Rodgers to season-ending shoulder surgery.
This news wraps up a miserable campaign for Oh, who last pitched May 30. The 37-year-old took the mound 21 times for the Rockies this season and pitched to a hideous 9.33 ERA/6.70 FIP with 7.85 K/9, 2.95 BB/9 and a 37.9 percent groundball rate over 18 1/3 frames. It was a far cry from the Oh who dominated at times over the previous three seasons with the Cardinals, Blue Jays and Rockies. Even factoring in this year’s disastrous production, the Korean-born Oh has still recorded a 3.31 ERA/3.46 FIP with 10.05 K/9 against 2.23 BB/9 across 225 2/3 innings since emigrating from the Japan Central League in 2016.
Oh turned in excellent numbers last year between Toronto and Colorado and amassed enough appearances (73; he needed 70) for his $2.5MM club option to vest for this season. The Rockies were happy to welcome Oh back at such a reasonable salary, though he indicated last October that he wanted to return to the Korea Baseball Organization, where he pitched from 2005-13.
While Oh decided to honor the remainder of his contract with the Rockies, it’s now fair to wonder what the future holds for the hurler known as the “Final Boss.” As a soon-to-be free agent, Oh could return to his homeland to finish his career or simply retire. If Oh returns to the majors, it seems likely he’ll have to settle for a minor league deal on the heels of a nightmarish contract year.