The Red Sox have a yearly tradition of handing out a “10th Player Award” to a member of the team that has performed above and beyond expectations. I would further define this as a player that has come out of nowhere to perform at an unexpected level.
This season there are a ton of possibilities in the team’s surprising run to the AL East title. I see four clear candidates for the award: Koji Uehara, Jonny Gomes, Mike Carp and Craig Breslow. None are everyday players and I also think that should be a big criteria to meet for the award.
Should the winner be Uehara (69 games, 22 svs, 1.16 ERA, 0.56 WHIP) Breslow (58 games, 1.91 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, solid setup relief all season) Gomes (12 HR in a part-time role, including 4 of the pinch hit variety, to go along with exemplary clubhouse leadership) or Carp (.918 OPS and clutch as the number one bat off the bench?)
My vote goes to Uehara. He has saved the Red Sox in the bullpen after they lost two closers to injury to start the season.
Manager John Farrell didn’t have a ton of places to turn for a solution and Koji’s performance has been at a Rivera-like level throughout his time in the closer role. He has made the ninth inning a comfort zone for this team. And no one ever could have foreseen him pitching at this level. For those reasons Uehara should be the 2013 Red Sox 10th Player Award winner. But what do you think?
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