The Red Sox season took another unfortunate turn when the team found out that closer Koji Uehara will miss the rest of the season on Monday. Uehara was struck by an Ian Kinsler line drive in the series against the Tigers over the weekend, and fractured his wrist as a result.
This is just the latest in a series of unfortunate events this season, and takes a toll on a Red Sox bullpen that is already struggling. It also takes one of the team’s more reliable pitchers out of the equation for the rest of the year, as Koji will end this season with 25 saves and a 2.23 ERA in 43 appearances.
While Koji had a rough spell towards the end of last year, he’s been one of the most consistent relievers the Red Sox have had over the past couple of seasons, and this presents a tough situation for the Red Sox.
ESPN said that manager John Farrell had mentioned Junichi Tazawa and Jean Maichi, who the Red Sox acquired off waivers from the San Francisco Giants, as short-term replacements for Koji Uehara, while the empty roster space also allowed the team to call up Ryan Cook from Pawtucket. The Red Sox acquired Cook from the Athletics on July 31st at the trade deadline.
Hopefully, this injury isn’t too serious for Koji and he’ll be able to return to the team for the start of 2016. Aside from being fun to watch when he’s on form, he’s also owed $9 million next season, the 2nd year of a 2-year/$18 million deal, so it would be nice to see him get back out there next season and earn that money.
At this point, it doesn’t really matter who they replace him with, since 2015 is a lost cause. Maybe they can use this as an opportunity to test out some young arms on the farm.