Monday, April 29, 2013

Koji Uehara in a Nutshell

This week was fairly representative of Uehara on the whole. He appeared in 4 games, throwing 4 innings. He showed excellent control, walking no one in those four innings, while striking out four batters. Unfortunately, Uehara gave up a couple of home runs - a shot to Billy Butler that tied the game in the 8th and a home run to Chris Young that cut the Sox lead against Oakland to one.

That is pretty much what you can expect from Uehara. Lots and lots of strikeouts (10.13/9 in 2013, 10.75 in 2012), almost no walks (a microscopic 0.84/9 in 2013, 0.75/9 in 2012), and lots of fly balls (59% in 2013, 51% in 2012). Sometimes, those fly balls are going to leave the yard, often times in bunches. Thankfully, they'll usually be solo home runs. The home run Uehara gave up to Butler was a crusher, leading to a Sox loss in extra innings, but on the whole Uehara is going to be an excellent contributor to the bullpen. The one thing we can't count on, though, is health. Uehara only threw 36 innings last year, and typically needs to have a day off between appearances. But while he is healthy, the Sox should enjoy the ride.

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