Red Sox’ Edward Mujica fully healthy after injury-filled 2014 season
In a recent interview with Rob Bradford of WEEI Sports, Red Sox relief pitcher Edward Mujica reported that he had dealt with a neck injury during the 2014 season. While Mujica eventually righted the ship after a tough start to the season, he mentioned that the injury, which he identified as a displaced C1 vertebra, impacted his early-season struggles.
Mujica, who signed a 2 year/$9.5M contract to join the Red Sox last winter, got his Red Sox career off on the wrong foot last April. In 10 appearances in the season’s first month, Mujica posted a 10.00 ERA and allowed a .341/400/.537 opponents’ slash line. And while Mujica did improve over the course of the season, posting a 2.82 ERA from May onward and finishing the season with a respectable (if unspectacular) 3.90 ERA, he mentioned that he wasn’t truly at full force until midseason.
"My neck was bothering me when I got here, I got treatment and in spring training I felt good because of the weather. But then I felt sore in the neck because of the cold weather. I was also adjusting to the American League, all the teams have pretty good hitters 1-9. I just kept working every single day, watching videos, got that [physical] adjustment and got going in the second half.The figured it out in spring training. The CI was a little moved out of place, but they put it in the right place in spring training to get through the season. With treatment every single day it helped me a lot after the first two months."
It’s encouraging to know that Mujica’s struggles last season were the results of an injury coming off a season in which he posted his highest ERA since 2009 and highest walk rate since 2008. A healthy Mujica would give a major boost to a Red Sox bullpen in need of a reliable setup man and the right-hander appears motivated to fill that role. Mujica has been a stable, consistent option out of the bullpen throughout his major league career and the Red Sox will be looking for him to return to that form and earn his keep in 2015.