Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Added work for Uehara?
By Doug Mittler
Boston Red Sox closer Koji Uehara could be in for some extended work this month.
Uehara has enjoyed a dominant season posting a 1.09 ERA and a 0.57 WHIP. At the same time, some questions have popped up regarding the Red Sox's middle-relief options, giving manager John Farrell every reason to shorten his bench and use Uehara for more than three outs in a save situation, reports Scott Lauber.
Uehara pitched more than an inning four times in the regular season and was a starter for most of his career in Japan, so this would not represent a radical plan. Given that the AL Division Series does not begin until Friday, Uehara also will be well-rested.
However, the added work for Uehara could have ripple effects on others in the Red Sox bullpen. As in, there are some questions as to who Farrell will turn to beyond Uehara and Craig Breslow, who has a 0.65 ERA since the All-Star break. Multiple innings for Uehara likely would result in less work for Brandon Workman and Franklin Morales, among others.
Fifth starter Felix Doubront would seem to be an option, but he has balked at working out of the bullpen and struggled in that role Sunday in Baltimore. There now appears to be a good chance he will be left off the ALDS roster altogether.