Player Profile: The well-traveled right-hander (the Red Sox are his fifth major league team) has quietly put together a solid resume out of the bullpen. At 6’3″ and 225 lbs, he’s a very durable reliever who’s 78 innings per season.
Aug 15, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Edward Mujica (44) points towards Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (not pictured) after retiring the Pittsburgh Pirates during the eleventh inning at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Pirates 6-5 in 12 innings. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
Mujica has excellent control with a career BB/9 IP of 1.4 and is also a decent strikeout pitcher with a K/9 IP of 7.2. He primarily relies on a four-seam fastball which averages 90-93 mph and a splitter which averages 86-89 mph. He’ll also mix in a low-90s two-seamer and a low 80s slider. He’s equally effective against both left and right-handed hitters.
2013 In Review: The 2013 season would actually be the best season of Edward Mujica’s career. He recorded 37 of his 41 career saves and put up his best full-season ERA (2.78) and WHIP (1.005) in 64.2 IP. Those numbers actually would’ve wound up being better had it not been for a late season swoon that would cost him the Cardinals’ closing job to Trevor Rosenthal.
The late-season struggles would be enough to eliminate any market for Mujica as a full-time closer. However, his overall stellar numbers last season were still enough to earn him a closer-like salary with the Red Sox.
2014 Outlook: Mujica joins a very deep Red Sox bullpen in the first year of a two year $9.5 million deal. With the closer job locked down by the returning Koji Uehara, Mujica will share setup duties with Junichi Tazawa and Craig Breslow. But if Uehara were to falter or miss time with an injury, Mujica is the likely favorite to take over as closer. However, if Koji remains healthy and effective, Mujica should get the occasional save opportunity on days Uehara may need extra rest. Mujica could also be the closer come 2015 with Uehara becoming a free agent after 2014.