Boston Red Sox place closer Koji Uehara on disabled list


What was initially believed to be only a minor injury for Koji Uehara has suddenly become a greater concern for the Boston Red Sox, necessitating a trip to the disabled list for their closer.

Uehara was drilled on the right wrist by a line drive off the bat of Ian Kinsler in Friday night’s win over the Detroit Tigers. While he recovered to throw out the runner at first to secure his 25th save of the season, Uehara was in noticeable pain as he walked off the mound clutching his arm.

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Manager John Farrell had initially considered him day-to-day, with the expectation that he would remain out through the remainder of the weekend series in Detroit. X-Rays taken after the game came back negative, but when the pain persisted Uehara was sent back to Boston for further examination.

The results of those further tests were apparently enough to convince the Red Sox to shut down their closer for at least the next couple of weeks by sending him to the disabled list. The team will officially announce the decision later today, according to the Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham.

***UPDATE*** The Red Sox have announced that Uehara will miss the remainder of the season with a fractured right wrist.

There has been no indication yet as to who will be called up to take Uehara’s place in the bullpen, which now has two spots available after Justin Masterson was designated for assignment Sunday night.

Ryan Cook, Tommy Layne, Noe Ramirez and Jonathan Aro would all seem to be likely candidates to join the Red Sox bullpen. Each of them are already on the 40-man roster, have briefly spent time at the big league level this season and have performed relatively well in a relief role in Pawtucket.

Uehara is having another outstanding season, ranking 5th in the league in saves while converting 25 of 27 opportunities. His 2.23 ERA is 4th among AL closers with at least 10 saves this season and his 0.92 WHIP is the best among that group.

Farrell stated that he would turn to the recently acquired Jean Machi in save situations during Uehara’s absence, which hardly instills the same amount of confidence. In his brief time with the Red Sox Machi has surrendered 3 earned runs and 5 base runners in 3.2 innings of relief.

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