I’m guessing this is Buster Olney trying to add to the whole pitching to the score/pitcher wins/Cy Young/Jack Morris debate. But since it’s Buster Olney, it doesn’t make all that much sense.
A question for anyone who thinks pitchers don’t make decisions according to the score: please explain timing of intentional walks.
1. Pitchers don’t call for intentional walks. The bench calls for intentional walks. At best, the pitcher might have some influence over the decision following a trip to the mound.
2. The intentional walk is simply a maneuver used by a team in an attempt to hurt the other team’s chance of scoring one or more runs (usually one). At least, that’s the idea anyway. Teams issue them when they’re ahead, when they’re behind and when they’re tied, simply because the whole idea is that it’ll hurt the other team’s chances of scoring.
Anyway, I’m not sure what Olney hoped to add to the debate here. Besides, no one has ever said pitchers don’t acknowledge the score when they pitch. Many of us just don’t think it makes any real difference at all. The great pitchers tend to be just as great whether they have one or eight runs to work with.
Rockies reliever Seunghwan Oh recently said to the Yonhap News Agency that he wanted to return to South Korea to finish out his career. He has one year and $2.5 million remaining. His 2019 club option became guaranteed when he reached 70 appearances in the 2018 regular season. It sounded like Oh didn’t want to pitch for the Rockies next season. Oh said, “I am a bit exhausted after spending five seasons in Japan and the United States. I feel like I want to return to the KBO while I still have the energy to help the team and pitch in front of home fans. I can’t make this decision alone. I’ll have to speak with my agency about the next season.”
Rockies GM Jeff Bridich has a different sense of the situation, per Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Bridich said, “From what we have been told, it was much ado about nothing regarding Oh. His comments to the Korean media were not specifically about 2019. It was more about ending his career there. Our understanding is that he has every intention of honoring his current contract.”
Oh, 36, pitched 68 1/3 innings this past season between the Blue Jays (47 innings) and Rockies (21 1/3). In aggregate, he posted a 2.63 ERA with a 79/17 K/BB ratio in 68 1/3 innings. The Rockies have the bulk of their bullpen returning next year, save for Adam Ottavino who is a free agent.