It Is Looking Like Koji Uehara Could Pitch For The Red Sox Before The Season Is Over
While Koji Uehara is recovering quicker than anticipated from the right pectoral strain that put him on the 15-day disabled list July 20.
Uehara is slated to throw off a mound for the first time since his injury, Tuesday afternoon, the idea of the 41-year-old returning to help this season is looking more realistic than ever.
I don’t know when game action is even projected at this point. [Tuesday] is another real positive step for him,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. We’ll see. In the past Koji has gone through good years and been very productive when he’s had minimal spring training, if at all. I don’t want to discount the need for some game action, but the fact that he’s getting back to the mound is a good thing.
Uehara hasn’t pitched since walking off the mound when pitching to his second batter in the Red Sox’ July 19 game against the Giants. Prior to his injury, he had been pitching better, going four straight outings without allowing a run. For the season, Uehara’s ERA stands at 4.50, having converted six of eight save chances.
The Bullpen From Hell
The Red Sox bullpen has been their downfall as of late with both the offense and the starting rotation working out their issues they had earlier in the season. The bullpen hasn’t been good for the most part this season but the downfalls were overshadowed by the starting rotation, now the bullpens failures are becoming more evident.
Dave Dombrowski tried to fix the issues at the deadline by bringing in Brad Ziegler and Fernando Abad, the later of which has been a disaster out of the pen. The bullpens issues are not from lack of trying from the front office perspective with the offseason additions of Criag Kimbrel and Carson Smith, Smith has been injured for 99% of the season and is out for the remainder of the year.
Red Sox farm product Matt Barnes has been what seems the most reliable reliever for the team, Kimbrel has even had a mediocre year but who can blame him as this is his first season in a big market on a team looking to win. If Uehara comes back this season you can start to feel a little more comfortable with the team’s chances of holding leads late in games.
With Koji innings 7-9 could look like this:
Robbie Ross and Tazawa can be mixed in with Ross likely first one out of the pen when starters get pulled early, and Tazawa likely pitching on nights were Barnes and others aren’t available. Betting on Uehara coming back isn’t safe though, betting on him coming back and being effective is even worse.