Boston Red Sox closer Koji Uehara felt discomfort in his pitching shoulder during warmups last night before the game. He was unavailable to pitch in today’s 7-4 loss at Yankee Stadium.
While the Sox do have a very good bullpen, losing Uehara for an extended period of time would be tough to manage. No one expects him to match his record-setting season from a year ago, but having a dependable arm like his late in games is a commodity that only a handful of teams in the league can boast about.
So far this year the BoSox pen have been great. Junich Tazawa has yet to give up an earned run this season, and will likely be thrust into the closing role for the duration of Uehara’s injury. Four other Sox pitchers in the bullpen haven’t given up any runs, and the team’s overall pitching ERA is 3.45. Lefty Chris Capuano has been a pleasant surprise for the relief core this season, and his experience will help the Sox if Koji has to miss time.
The refreshing news is that Uehara and management don’t seem too alarmed by the situation. Uehara believes the pain will subside and that the injury is insignificant, while Red Sox manager John Farrell said there is a small chance that Uehara goes back to Boston for an exam while they are in New York.
Uehara will try to undergo his regular routine on Sunday in the Bronx, and we will know more about his injury status as we get closer to first pitch at Yankee Stadium Sunday night.