In the early going of the 2014 season, Edward Mujica has been dealing with both of the two “i’s”: injuries and ineffectiveness. However, the status of one of those “i’s” is about to change and the Red Sox hope that, as Mujica recovers from the strained oblique that has sidelined him for the past several days, his results will also improve.
Mujica strained his oblique in a bullpen session before last Saturday’s 6-3 win against the Oakland Athletics. However, John Farrell reports that Mujica has passed a number of hurdles in his quest to return to action and, before Mujica’s bullpen session yesterday, he spoke about Mujica’s status.
He is throwing right now. He is going through stretch with pitchers. We needed to get him on the mound to test and see where he is. That is important.
Reportedly, Mujica’s bullpen session before last night’s win against the Cincinnati Reds went off without a hitch, and Red Sox management is confident that he will be able to avoid the disabled list. At this stage, he is likely just a few days away from returning to his regular role in the Red Sox’ bullpen at full health; at this stage, the main question that surrounds Mujica is whether he will recover from his slow start and validate the 2 year/$9.5MM contract that he signed over the winter.
Hopefully Mujica will be able to forget his slow start and return to his 2013 form when he was among the best closers in baseball, saving 35 games and posting a 2.78 ERA. In roughly the first month of the 2014 season, Mujica has posted a 9.00 ERA in his first 10 innings with mediocre peripherals; 6 strikeouts to 4 walks. However, it’s obviously still early in the season and if he returns fully healthy, there’s no reason he can’t be the setup man the Red Sox signed him to be.