Will Uehara get saves with Rangers?
July, 30, 2011
By Eric Karabell | ESPN Insider
If the Texas Rangers want their best relief pitcher closing games the final two months of the season, based on current statistics it sure wouldn't be Neftali Feliz. Instead, it would be right-hander Koji Uehara, acquired Saturday from the Baltimore Orioles for the relatively low price of strikeout slugger Chris Davis and ordinary starting pitcher Tommy Hunter. Yes, Uehara is having the better season, and quite easily in fact.
Of course, while we still await a final destination for San Diego Padres closer Heath Bell, with the Rangers often mentioned as well, I'd be pretty surprised if Rangers manager Ron Washington chooses Uehara to close over Feliz. I mean, Feliz has 21 saves. He saved 40 games -- when he was much more effective -- last season. That's probably what Washington is looking at. Uehara is much older at 36 and hasn't saved a game all year, despite being next in line for oft-terrible Kevin Gregg.
Nick Laham/Getty ImagesKoji Uehara has made a successful transition to the bullpen after starting his big league career in the rotation.