There was a time that Koji Uehara was untouchable. The Japanese closer was god-like on the mound en route to the 2013 World Series Championship, when “High Five City” took over Boston.
Towards the end of last year’s sub-par season, it appeared that Koji had run out of luck, as his time on the mound took a turn for the worse. Many had speculated that the right-handed closer was battling some sort of injury, as his ERA sky-rocketed to 19.29 in six appearances from Aug. 16 to Sept. 4.
Koji admitted from Fort Myers on Monday that he was indeed bothered by a “physical” ailment at the end of last season. However, he reassured Red Sox Nation that he was over it, and ready to take the mound at Fenway once again this season.
“I didn’t talk about it at that time. I think I’m over it.” Koji said through a translator, per NESN.com. “I probably needed the rest and felt good after, But I’m not going to look back and wonder what I should have done. I’m just going to look toward the future.”
Koji also commented on his offseason talks with the Red Sox, during which he signed a two-year, $18 million contract with the club.
“It was the only team that I talked to,” Uehara told reporters. “I was pretty sure that if I was going to sign, it was going to be the Red Sox. Since the Red Sox had an offer for multiple years, that really erased any doubts about going into the offseason as a free agent.”
Come spring, Koji will be right back where he belongs, on the mound at Fenway Park, and across the nation.
Welcome to High Five City.