Biographical

Portrait of Koji Uehara

Koji Uehara PCubs

Cubs Player Cards | Cubs Team Audit | Cubs Depth Chart

2018 Projections (Preseason PECOTA - seasonal age 43)
IP ERA WHIP SO W L SV WARP
37.7 4.35 1.25 40 2 1 2 0.2
Birth Date4-3-1975
Height6' 2"
Weight195 lbs
Age43 years, 3 months, 14 days
BatsR
ThrowsR
1.72014
1.02015
0.72016
0.92017
0.22018
+proj
WARP Summary

MLB Statistics

Historical (past-seasons) WARP is now based on DRA..
cFIP and DRA are not available on a by-team basis and display as zeroes(0). See TOT line for season totals of these stats.
Multiple stints are are currently shownClick to hide.
YEAR Team Lg G GS IP W L SV H BB SO HR oppTAv PPF H/9 BB/9 HR/9 K/9 GB% BABIP TAv WHIP FIP ERA cFIP DRA DRA- WARP
2009 BAL MLB 12 12 66.7 2 4 0 71 12 48 7 .265 108 9.6 1.6 0.9 6.5 32% .302 .247 1.25 3.60 4.05 94 3.92 84.0 1.2
2010 BAL MLB 43 0 44.0 1 2 13 37 5 55 5 .260 114 7.6 1.0 1.0 11.2 25% .294 .205 0.95 2.36 2.86 73 2.46 55.6 1.2
2011 BAL 0 43 0 47.0 1 1 0 25 8 62 6 .257 105 4.8 1.5 1.1 11.9 31% .194 .173 0.70 2.59 1.72 69 2.30 53.4 1.4
2011 TEX 0 22 0 18.0 1 2 0 13 1 23 5 .268 108 6.5 0.5 2.5 11.5 36% .200 .232 0.78 4.28 4.00 84 2.82 65.6 0.4
2012 TEX MLB 37 0 36.0 0 0 1 20 3 43 4 .263 104 5.0 0.8 1.0 10.8 33% .200 .169 0.64 2.34 1.75 80 2.82 64.7 0.8
2013 BOS MLB 73 0 74.3 4 1 21 33 9 101 5 .264 100 4.0 1.1 0.6 12.2 42% .188 .147 0.57 1.63 1.09 45 1.89 45.3 2.4
2014 BOS MLB 64 0 64.3 6 5 26 51 8 80 10 .263 102 7.1 1.1 1.4 11.2 35% .273 .231 0.92 3.11 2.52 73 2.34 57.5 1.7
2015 BOS MLB 43 0 40.3 2 4 25 28 9 47 3 .260 112 6.2 2.0 0.7 10.5 29% .248 .203 0.92 2.40 2.23 84 2.57 60.0 1.0
2016 BOS MLB 50 0 47.0 2 3 7 34 11 63 8 .257 113 6.5 2.1 1.5 12.1 27% .260 .213 0.96 3.46 3.45 98 3.64 80.5 0.7
2017 CHN MLB 49 0 43.0 3 4 2 38 12 50 7 .262 99 8.0 2.5 1.5 10.5 26% .284 .239 1.16 3.80 3.98 92 3.32 70.6 0.9
2011 TOT MLB 65 0 65.0 2 3 0 38 9 85 11 .260 106 5.3 1.2 1.5 11.8 32% .196 .190 0.72 3.06 2.35 73 2.44 56.8 1.8
CareerMLB43612480.72226953507857260.2621066.61.51.110.732%.253.2060.892.852.66772.7562.312.0

Statistics for All Levels

'opp' stats - Quality of opponents faced - have been moved and are available only as OPP_QUAL in the Statistics reports now.
Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
YEAR Team Lg G GS IP W L SV H BB SO HR oppTAv PPF H/9 BB/9 HR/9 K/9 GB% BABIP TAv WHIP FIP ERA cFIP DRA DRA-
1999 YOM npb 25 25 197.7 20 4 0 153 24 179 12 .000 7.0 1.1 0.5 8.1 0% -.656 .000 0.90 -1.74 0.00 0 0.00 0.0
2000 YOM npb 20 20 131.0 9 7 0 112 22 126 20 .000 7.7 1.5 1.4 8.7 0% -.548 .000 1.02 -0.32 0.00 0 0.00 0.0
2001 YOM npb 24 22 138.7 10 7 0 133 28 108 18 .000 8.6 1.8 1.2 7.0 0% -.747 .000 1.16 -0.22 0.00 0 0.00 0.0
2002 YOM npb 26 1 204.0 17 5 0 173 23 182 18 .000 7.6 1.0 0.8 8.0 0% -.695 .000 0.96 -0.84 0.00 0 0.00 0.0
2003 YOM npb 27 0 207.3 16 5 0 190 23 194 28 .000 8.2 1.0 1.2 8.4 0% -.648 .000 1.03 3.33 3.17 0 0.00 0.0
2004 YOM npb 22 0 163.0 13 5 0 135 23 153 24 .000 7.5 1.3 1.3 8.4 0% -.541 .000 0.97 3.64 2.60 0 0.00 0.0
2005 YOM npb 27 27 187.3 9 12 0 164 22 145 24 .000 7.9 1.1 1.2 7.0 0% -.733 .000 0.99 3.66 3.32 0 0.00 0.0
2006 YOM npb 24 24 168.3 8 9 0 157 21 151 24 .000 8.4 1.1 1.3 8.1 0% .279 .000 1.06 3.42 3.21 0 0.00 0.0
2006 JPN wor 2 2 10.1 1 0 0 14 0 8 2 .000 12.5 0.0 1.8 7.1 0% .375 .000 1.39 5.04 2.67 0 0.00 0.0
2007 YOM npb 55 0 62.0 4 3 32 47 4 66 4 .000 6.8 0.6 0.6 9.6 0% .265 .000 0.82 1.98 1.74 0 0.00 0.0
2008 YOM npb 26 12 89.7 6 5 1 90 16 72 11 .000 9.0 1.6 1.1 7.2 0% .292 .000 1.18 3.45 3.81 0 0.00 0.0
2009 BAL MLB 12 12 66.7 2 4 0 71 12 48 7 .265 108 9.6 1.6 0.9 6.5 32% .302 .247 1.25 3.60 4.05 94 3.92 84.0
2010 BAL MLB 43 0 44.0 1 2 13 37 5 55 5 .260 114 7.6 1.0 1.0 11.2 25% .294 .205 0.95 2.36 2.86 73 2.46 55.6
2010 BOW AA 2 2 2.0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 .255 106 4.5 4.5 0.0 4.5 60% .200 .181 1.00 3.85 0.00 99 4.89 102.6
2010 NOR AAA 2 0 2.0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 .257 96 9.0 0.0 0.0 4.5 29% .286 .191 1.00 2.29 0.00 103 5.23 112.1
2011 BAL MLB 43 0 47.0 1 1 0 25 8 62 6 .257 105 4.8 1.5 1.1 11.9 31% .194 .173 0.70 2.59 1.72 69 2.30 53.4
2011 TEX MLB 22 0 18.0 1 2 0 13 1 23 5 .268 108 6.5 0.5 2.5 11.5 36% .200 .232 0.78 4.28 4.00 84 2.82 65.6
2012 TEX MLB 37 0 36.0 0 0 1 20 3 43 4 .263 104 5.0 0.8 1.0 10.8 33% .200 .169 0.64 2.34 1.75 80 2.82 64.7
2012 ROU AAA 3 0 3.0 0 0 0 3 0 4 0 .272 88 9.0 0.0 0.0 12.0 29% .429 .253 1.00 0.99 0.00 91 4.26 81.5
2013 BOS MLB 73 0 74.3 4 1 21 33 9 101 5 .264 100 4.0 1.1 0.6 12.2 42% .188 .147 0.57 1.63 1.09 45 1.89 45.3
2014 BOS MLB 64 0 64.3 6 5 26 51 8 80 10 .263 102 7.1 1.1 1.4 11.2 35% .273 .231 0.92 3.11 2.52 73 2.34 57.5
2015 BOS MLB 43 0 40.3 2 4 25 28 9 47 3 .260 112 6.2 2.0 0.7 10.5 29% .248 .203 0.92 2.40 2.23 84 2.57 60.0
2015 GRN A 1 0 1.0 0 0 0 3 0 1 0 .280 101 27.0 0.0 0.0 9.0 80% .600 .397 3.00 1.48 9.00 94 4.79 105.3
2016 BOS MLB 50 0 47.0 2 3 7 34 11 63 8 .257 113 6.5 2.1 1.5 12.1 27% .260 .213 0.96 3.46 3.45 98 3.64 80.5
2017 CHN MLB 49 0 43.0 3 4 2 38 12 50 7 .262 99 8.0 2.5 1.5 10.5 26% .284 .239 1.16 3.80 3.98 92 3.32 70.6

Plate Discipline

YEAR PITCHES ZONE_RT SWING_RT CONTACT_RT Z_SWING_RT O_SWING_RT Z_CONTACT_RT O_CONTACT_RT SW_STRK_RT
2009 1048 0.5115 0.5153 0.7667 0.6511 0.3730 0.8338 0.6440 0.2333
2010 673 0.5037 0.4978 0.7134 0.6460 0.3473 0.7671 0.6121 0.2866
2011 912 0.5329 0.5482 0.6820 0.6667 0.4131 0.7346 0.5852 0.3180
2012 513 0.5166 0.5750 0.6610 0.7019 0.4395 0.6720 0.6422 0.3390
2013 1037 0.5535 0.5574 0.6332 0.6829 0.4017 0.6811 0.5323 0.3668
2014 945 0.5079 0.5418 0.6367 0.6938 0.3849 0.7387 0.4469 0.3633
2015 628 0.4618 0.5159 0.6080 0.6552 0.3964 0.7158 0.4552 0.3920
2016 761 0.4704 0.5388 0.6927 0.6872 0.4069 0.8130 0.5122 0.3073
2017 682 0.5293 0.5308 0.6796 0.6953 0.3458 0.7291 0.5676 0.3204
Career71990.51240.53560.67720.67480.38920.74660.55380.3228

Injury History  —  No longer being updated

Last Update: 12/31/2014 23:59 ET

Date On Date Off Transaction Days Games Side Body Part Injury Severity Surgery Date Reaggravation
2014-04-10 2014-04-17 DTD 7 6 Right Shoulder Soreness - -
2012-06-10 2012-08-26 15-DL 77 66 Right Upper Back Strain Latissimus Dorsi - -
2010-05-18 2010-06-27 15-DL 40 35 Right Elbow Strain Flexor Pronator Mass -
2010-03-26 2010-05-06 15-DL 41 28 Left Thigh Recovery From Strain Hamstring -
2010-03-18 2010-03-26 Camp 8 0 Left Thigh Strain Hamstring -
2009-06-24 2009-10-05 60-DL 103 92 Right Elbow Strain Flexor Tendon -
2009-05-24 2009-06-11 15-DL 18 16 Left Thigh Strain Hamstring -
2009-04-29 2009-05-05 DTD 6 5 Chest Contusion Sternum -
2009-03-09 2009-03-25 Camp 16 0 Thigh Strain Hamstring -

Compensation

Year Team Salary
2017 CHN $6,000,000
2016 BOS $9,000,000
2015 BOS $9,000,000
2014 BOS $4,250,000
2013 BOS $4,250,000
2012 TEX $4,000,000
2011 BAL $3,000,000
2010 BAL $5,000,000
2009 BAL $5,000,000
YearsDescriptionSalary
9 yrPrevious$49,500,000
9 yrTotal$49,500,000

 

Service TimeAgentContract Status
9 y 0 dISE Baseball1 year/$6M (2017)

Details
  • 1 year/$1.87M (2018). Signed by Yomiuri Giants of Japan 3/9/18.
  • 1 year/$6M (2017). Signed by Chicago Cubs as a free agent 12/16.
  • 2 years/$18M (2015-16). Re-signed by Boston as a free agent 10/30/14. 15:$9M, 16:$9M.
  • 1 year/$4.25M (2013), plus 2014 option. Signed by Boston as a free agent 12/6/12. 13:$4.25M, 14:$4.25M vesting option, guaranteed with 55 appearances in 2013. Performance bonuses: $0.125M each for 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50 games finished. Award bonuses, including $50,000 for All-Star selection.
  • 1 year/$3M (2011), plus 2012 vesting option. Signed by Baltimore as a free agent 12/9/10. 11:$3M, 12:$4M vesting option (vests with 55 games or 25 games finished in 2011). 2011 performance bonuses: $0.1M each for 30, 35, 40, 45, 50 games. $0.1M each for 30, 35, 40, 45, 50 games. $0.15M - $0.25M for games finished (10-55). 2012 performance bonuses up to $1M based on GF (if option vests). Award bonuses. Limited no-trade protection (may block deals to 6 clubs). May elect to become XX(B) free agent when contract ends. Acquired by Texas in trade from Baltimore 7/30/11. (Orioles pay $2M to Rangers in deal.) 2012 option vested 8/31/11.
  • 2 years/$10M (2009-10). Signed by Baltimore as a free agent from Japan 1/13/09. 09:$5M, 10:$5M. Free agent after 2010. $3M in performance bonuses up to 34 starts, 200 IP.

2018 Preseason Forecast

Last Update: 1/27/2017 12:35 ET

PCT W L SV G GS IP H BB SO HR BABIP WHIP ERA DRA VORP WARP
90o 3.1 1.3 2.7 56 0 52.7 38 17 55 7 .236 1.05 3.37 3.48 8.0 0.9
80o 2.7 1 2.3 50 0 46.8 36 17 49 7 .250 1.13 3.78 3.91 5.1 0.6
70o 2.4 0.9 2.1 45 0 42.7 35 16 44 6 .260 1.19 4.08 4.23 3.2 0.4
60o 2.2 0.8 1.9 42 0 39.3 34 16 41 6 .269 1.25 4.34 4.5 1.9 0.2
50o 2 0.7 1.7 38 0 36.1 32 15 38 6 .277 1.30 4.58 4.77 0.7 0.1
40o 1.8 0.6 1.5 35 0 33.1 31 14 34 6 .286 1.36 4.83 5.03 -0.2 -0.0
30o 1.6 0.5 1.3 32 0 29.9 29 13 31 5 .294 1.42 5.11 5.32 -1.1 -0.1
20o 1.4 0.4 1.1 28 0 26.2 27 12 27 5 .305 1.49 5.43 5.66 -1.9 -0.2
10o 1.1 0.3 0.8 23 0 21.4 23 11 22 4 .319 1.60 5.89 6.15 -2.6 -0.3
Weighted Mean1.90.71.638035.53114376.2751.294.554.730.90.1

Preseason Long-Term Forecast (Beyond the 2018 Projections)

Playing time estimates are based on performance, not Depth Charts.
Year Age W L SV G GS IP H BB SO HR GB% BABIP WHIP ERA DRA H/9 BB/9 K/9 HR/9 WARP
20194431257054462155833.2901.254.595.047.73.59.21.30.1
20204531255052452053833.2921.254.635.097.83.59.21.40.1
20214621249047411847733.2911.264.735.207.93.59.11.3-0.0
20224721243041361741733.2951.294.795.277.93.79.01.5-0.0
20234821134032281232533.2921.264.835.318.03.49.11.4-0.0
20244921132030271229533.2921.304.865.348.13.68.71.5-0.1
20255021133031281230533.2951.294.875.358.13.58.71.5-0.1
20265121132031281230533.2961.304.905.398.23.58.81.5-0.1
20275221132030281229533.2961.324.935.428.33.68.61.5-0.1

Comparable Players (Similarity Index 52)

Rank Score Name Year Run Average Trend
1 83 Takashi Saito 2013 0.00 DNP
2 79 Hoyt Wilhelm 1966 2.32
3 78 Satchel Paige 1950 0.00 DNP
4 73 Trevor Hoffman 2011 0.00 DNP
5 71 Randy Johnson 2007 4.13
6 69 Doug Jones 2000 4.17
7 67 Roger Clemens 2006 2.70
8 66 Darren Oliver 2014 0.00 DNP
9 66 Mike Timlin 2009 0.00 DNP
10 66 Doug Brocail 2010 0.00 DNP
11 65 Jesse Orosco 2000 11.57
12 65 John Smoltz 2010 0.00 DNP
13 64 Jeff Fassero 2006 7.80
14 64 Roberto Hernandez 2008 0.00 DNP
15 62 Don McMahon 1973 1.48
16 59 LaTroy Hawkins 2016 0.00 DNP
17 59 Nolan Ryan 1990 3.79
18 59 Rick Honeycutt 1997 13.50
19 58 Orlando Hernandez 2009 0.00 DNP
20 57 David Wells 2006 4.90
21 57 Dutch Leonard 1952 2.65
22 57 Dennis Eckersley 1998 4.76
23 57 Woodie Fryman 1983 18.00
24 56 Bartolo Colon 2016 3.80
25 55 Greg Maddux 2009 0.00 DNP
26 55 Andy Pettitte 2015 0.00 DNP
27 54 Jamie Moyer 2006 4.68
28 53 Kent Tekulve 1990 0.00 DNP
29 53 Phil Niekro 1982 4.07
30 52 John Franco 2004 5.48
31 51 Tim Wakefield 2010 5.91
32 51 Gaylord Perry 1982 4.86
33 50 Kenny Rogers 2008 6.12
34 49 Tom Seaver 1988 0.00 DNP
35 48 Jerry Koosman 1986 0.00 DNP
36 47 Connie Marrero 1954 5.02
37 46 Early Wynn 1963 2.28
38 46 Tom Glavine 2009 0.00 DNP
39 45 Miguel Batista 2014 0.00 DNP
40 45 Rich Gossage 1995 0.00 DNP
41 45 Bert Blyleven 1994 0.00 DNP
42 43 Dennis Martinez 1997 8.45
43 43 Don Sutton 1988 4.53
44 43 Rick Reuschel 1992 0.00 DNP
45 39 Terry Mulholland 2006 9.00
46 39 Warren Spahn 1964 5.70
47 38 Rip Sewell 1950 0.00 DNP
48 38 Murry Dickson 1960 0.00 DNP
49 31 Steve Carlton 1988 17.69
50 27 Charlie Hough 1991 4.42
51 25 Joe Niekro 1988 10.03
52 24 Tommy John 1986 3.44
53 21 Danny Darwin 1999 0.00 DNP
54 17 Jim Kaat 1982 4.92
55 16 Mike Morgan 2003 0.00 DNP

Platoon

SORT_FIELD PLATOON AVG OBP SLG TAv
10 vs L (Multi) .153 .203 .298 .183
11 vs R (Multi) .231 .273 .428 .231
18 Split (Multi) -.078 -.070 -.130 -.048
19 LgAvg (Multi) .006 .020 .015 .013
30 vs L (2016) .139 .200 .278 .170
31 vs R (2016) .253 .306 .505 .251
38 Split (2016) -.114 -.106 -.227 -.081
39 LgAvg (2016) .003 .018 .013 .012

Definition of multi-year splits

BP Annual Player Comments

YearComment
2018 Due to publishing agreements, the 2018 player comments and team essays are only available in the Baseball Prospectus 2018 book (available in hardcopy, and soon e-book and Kindle).
2017 When Uehara hit the DL with a pectoral strain on July 19th, it looked like his career was over. After years of dominance, Uehara appeared frighteningly mortal in 2016, coughing up a 4.50 ERA and allowing a .448 slugging percentage in the 36 innings preceding his injury. But Uehara wasn’t done giving high-fives. The 41-year-old returned on September 7th and looked like his old self rather than his elderly self, holding opponents to a .167/.231/.222 line and refusing to allow an earned run in 11 innings. Many assumed Uehara would retire this offseason, but despite Uehara’s age, 86-mph fastball and obvious limitations—he can’t pitch on back-to-back days—the Cubs added him to their ex-Red Sox collection on a one-year deal.
2016 Given the way Uehara tired at the end of 2014 and the finite number of bullets one assumes he has in his right arm, the Red Sox had to at least be considering shutting down their closer altogether in the season's final months. Ian Kinsler made that decision for the Boston brass in early August, when he ended Uehara's dominant 2015 via a line drive that broke Koji's wrist. While he was still very much a high-five catalyst last year, his strikeout rate, walk rate, velocity and flyball percentage were all trending in the wrong direction, and there's an excellent chance that 2016 is his last season. There's also an excellent chance that his last season is excellent, as his splitter and incredible command continue to prove that velocity is not the end-all be-all, even for bullpenners.
2015 The Red Sox decided to do away with any drama regarding a Uehara reunion, re-signing the free-agent-to-be less than 24 hours after the World Series ended. His two-year deal might seem to be a bit much for a 40-year-old reliever, but Uehara's performance dictates the special treatment. Yes, he tapered off toward the end of the 2014 season, but even with his late collapse he finished with 10 times as many strikeouts as walks and an ERA well below 3.00. The Red Sox will have to be judicious in how they use Uehara, and he'll probably be limited to around 60 innings a year. But if he continues to perform at his 2013-2014 level and is deployed properly, there are plenty more high-fives in Boston's future.
2014 Uehara's history of injury kept his price down, allowing the Sox to stash him as depth on the cheap behind Andrew Bailey and Joel Hanrahan. When both went down, the Sox installed Koji as stopper; it's nigh impossible to overstate the impact. Uehara struck out over 11 times as many batters as he walked, retired 37 in a row at one point (a hidden perfect game and then some), and limited opponents to a single run and no walks in 13 postseason innings. As a reliever, Uehara has thrown 219 innings with a 1.93 ERA, 284 strikeouts and 23 unintentional walks, and he somehow had his best year ever as a 38-year-old. Those aren't Mariano Rivera credentialsno one has thosebut in this post-Mo world, Uehara might be the closest the game has to offer, at least until he too does the unthinkable and leaves us behind.
2013 Ueharas stuff is as straightforward as it gets; hes a two-pitch reliever, mixing his upper-80s fastball and low-80s splitter about evenly. The Japanese import has been one of baseballs most effective setup men over the last three seasons, posting a 2.36 ERA with nearly 11 strikeouts per walk. Ueharas dominance comes from both his strike-throwing ability and devastating splitter. While most split-finger specialists struggle to throw it for a strike, Uehara keeps hitters off-balance by moving it in and out of the zone as he pleases. His lack of overpowering velocity renders him homer-prone when he misses over the plate. He surrendered nine round-trippers in 54 innings with Texas in 2011-12. The 38-year-old righty should remain a usable reliever as long as his splitter remains a wipeout offering.
2012 Acquired at the 2011 trading deadline from the Baltimore Orioles for Tommy Hunter and Chris Davis, Koji Uehara appeared in 22 regular season games for the Rangers, but failed to impact the postseason bullpen with his presence. More than just a situational reliever, Ueharas arsenal is effective against both lefties and righties, showing pinpoint command of an upper-80s fastball and a nasty off-speed arsenal, including a trapdoor splitter that misses a ton of bats.
2011 Part of the Orioles surprising flight from 100-plus losses was the decision to let Uehara close, something he had done very successfully in Japan. This stood in marked contrast to Simon, who not only had never closed successfully, but had never pitched successfully. The Os might have come to this realization sooner had Uehara been more available. He missed the first month of the season with hamstring problems, then lost another six weeks to a strained elbow. Ueharas fastball doesnt escape the mid-to-upper 80s, but his outstanding control plays up in the late innings, pressuring batters not to fall behind. From his second DL return on, he walked just three batters in 39 innings. Over his final 25 games, comprising 26.1 innings, he walked no one while striking out 35. He was particularly baffling to right-handed hitters, holding them to a .185/.202/.272 line on the season. There are three knocks against Uehara: his age, his injury history, and the danger that, as a fly-ball pitcher who is always around the plate, his mistakes are going to get launched. The first two make Uehara a risk, but the potential upside of a short-term contract and a late-inning role make the gamble worthwhile.
2010 Uehara's pure stuff is less than impressive, beginning with a fastball that only clocks in at 86-88 mph. What is impressive is how many different things he can do from there. He cuts the fastball in two different ways to produce different movement, and also has a splitter that dives into the ground, an occasional slider, plus a very slow, wide curve, and all of them are thrown with impeccable control. We had two worries about Uehara entering the season: that he wouldn't have the stamina to start regularly after working mainly in relief the last couple of years in Japan, and that he might suffer a recurrence of the leg injuries that forced him to the bullpen in the first place. Both fears came true, but it was a torn elbow tendon that ended his season. He should be fully healed by spring, and is expected to work only in relief.

BP Articles

Click here to see articles tagged with Koji Uehara

BP Chats

DateQuestionAnswer
2017-02-13 20:00:00 (link to chat)NL catchers or middle relievers you see w surprising value in 2017?
(db from Pgh)
At NL catcher, I like Andrew Susac and Devin Mesoraco, especially Mesoraco. I think a lot of other folks like Susac, too, so he might not end p being a bargain. Mesoraco is more likely to be available at a bargain price due to the ssignificant injury concerns.

As for NL middle relief, I like Edubray Ramos, who is so good that he might end up being promoted from middle relief to closer sooner rather than later. I also like Grant Dayton and Koji Uehara due to their K rates. (Scooter Hotz)
2015-09-21 20:30:00 (link to chat)Name some guys who is not currently a closer, but could be on opening day?
(Davin from Pittsburgh)
Joakim Soria, Tyler Clippard, Wade Davis and does Koji Uehara count? (Bret Sayre)
2015-06-16 20:00:00 (link to chat)If the Red Sox were characters on Game of Thrones, who would they be? thanks
(Bill from Los Angeles)
This is super played out ...

... and as such, right in my wheelhouse.

Xander Bogaerts: Jon Snow
Mookie Betts: Danaerys Targaryen

Ben Cherington: Ned (tried to do the right thing, will probably lose head)
Wade Miley: Catelyn (doesn't do much but yell)
Rick Porcello: Robb Stark (handsome, ineffective)
Clay Buchholz: Sansa (WHAT EVEN ARE YOU?)
Eduardo Rodriguez: Arya (so much potential)
Brock Holt: Bran (takes a lot of forms)
Joe Kelly: Rickon (why do you exist?)
Mike Napoli: Hodor (...yep)
Christian Vazquez: Benjen Stark (plz come back)

John Henry: Tywin (still calling the shots)
Dustin Pedroia: Tyrion (most watchable/resourceful)
Larry Lucchino: Cersei (...)
David Ortiz: Jaime (lost a step but still badass)
Blake Swihart: Tommen (keep trying, little guy)

John Farrell: Stannis (stern but no one seems to listen)
Melisandre: Pablo Sandoval (is your power real or what)
Our Hopes/Dreams: Shireen

Hanley Ramirez: The Hound (unlikeable but powerful)
Koji Uehara: Brienne (still rooting for ya)
Daniel Nava: Pod (you too!)

Junichi Tawawa: Bronn (just gets stuff done)
Allen Craig: Janos Slynt (just doesn't)
Shane Victorino: Jorah (always hurt)
Jackie Bradley: Theon (has he not suffered enough?)
Justin Masterson: Beric Dondarrion (should not have been revived)

Craig Breslow: Doran (smart, ineffective)
Alejandro De Aza: sandsnake 1
Alexi Ogando: sandsnake 2
Tommy Layne: sandsnake 3

The Yankees: Roose Bolton
The Rays: Ramsay Bolton
The Blue Jays: The Night's King
The Orioles: Mance Rayder

And two for the book readers ...
Yoan Moncada: Young Griff
Rusney Castillo: Patchface (Ben Carsley)
2014-08-25 13:00:00 (link to chat)When it comes to saves in 2015, can you please rank the following. Vic Black, Josh Fields, Zach Putnam, Junichi Tazawa. Thanks dude.
(Corey from San Jacinto)
Putnam, Fields, and Black, Tazawa with the caveat that anything can happen between now and ST 2015. If you're looking for fluidity, Chicago and Houston are better place to go than Boston (sounds like they might bring back Koji Uehara) and New York (Mejia is OK if he's healthy, and Familia looks like a solid back-up plan). (Mike Gianella)
2014-06-11 12:00:00 (link to chat)Koji Uehara's stats as a one-inning Red Sox reliever: 0.97 ERA, 0.62 WHIP, 10.7 K/BB. Putting aside the fact that he'd probably get hurt by the fourth game, what's your best guess of what those stats would be if he were used as a starter instead?
(Wilson from Newport)
That's a great question. Koji was a starter when he first came to MLB. He had a 4.05 ERA in 66.2 IP so he was alright, but not anything like what he is now out of the pen.

There's so much to take in. Koji is older and has suffered injuries in the relatively recent past. He throws two pitches, when most starters need three at least by conventional wisdom. Also, most starters go until they have trouble so that means most starters run into some trouble at some point in their starts. As a reliever, Koji goes one inning and then that's it. So I'll say his ERA goes up to 3.something. Low threes. He'd give up more hits, more homers especially, but the walks would probably stay down (he has near perfect control). 1.15 WHIP and 4ish K/BB. But that might be overselling it. It probably is. (Matthew Kory)
2014-02-18 14:00:00 (link to chat)Would you take Danny Salazar or Koji Uehara in a standard 5x5 fantasy league?
(Jake from Flagstaff)
Salazar. (Ronit Shah)
2014-01-21 18:00:00 (link to chat)My Yordano Ventura and Koji Ueharra for his Kris Bryant? Thoughts?
(proffitt9 from Tampa)
I like Ventura better than Bryant, but that seems like a lot to give up for Bryant in any format, even if it's a dynasty league. I don't value closers a lot, but Koji Uehara provided significant value in 2013 and should do the same this year. I might do that if I were giving back a lesser prospect. (Mike Gianella)
2013-12-10 18:00:00 (link to chat)Hola. In a 10 team 5x5 with OPS instead of AVG and starting 5 OF, CI, MI, and 1 UTIL, plus 9 P (can be SP or RP). I am leaning toward the following 5 keepers at the cost of the round in (): Fielder (1), Votto (2), Craig (6), Choo (9), Dunn (21). My other options are Beltre (2), Stanton (2), Kinsler (3), Perkins (19) and Uehara (23). Did I choose the right 5? If you keep 2 players from the same round (e.g. Beltre and Votto), it costs that round and the preceding round (e.g. 1st and 2nd). So I couldn't keep 2 2nd's and a 1st. In other words, I can only choose 2 of the 4 from Fielder, Votto, Beltre and Stanton. Stanton's injuries and Beltre's age concern me and I'm loathe to keep closers. Muchas gracias!
(Miguel from Venezuela)
Hola Miguel.

The move to Texas obviously helps Prince Fielder a great deal, but I'm not convinced that it provides a complete panacea for his woes at the plate last year. Fielder was a mechanical mess last year, and while I'm sure the Rangers know this and will work on it, he isn't a sure thing. Given the differences in position, I might keep Adrian Beltre over Fielder. It might sound crazy, but Beltre has been an elite third baseman the last couple of years. His age worries me a little bit, but Fielder's off year combined with his physique worries me a little bit as well. Yes, I know Fielder hasn't been hurt and plays a lot but I'm not convinced this trend can last indefinitely.

I might consider Koji Uehara over Adam Dunn, but in an OBP league Dunn in that slot is probably worth it. I am wary of Dunn's age and that any decline in bat speed in 2014 would impact Dunn a lot. He'll be 34 next year, which doesn't sound old but isn't a great age for a hitter of Dunn's profile. (Mike Gianella)
2013-10-30 12:00:00 (link to chat)If there is a game 7, how many pitches will Jon Lester throw in it? How many will John Lackey throw it in? How many will Koji Uehara throw in it?
(William from Los Angeles)
Lackey won't be back for a Game 7. If he throws a lot of pitches and Boston loses he won't be back, and if he gets crushed so much so that he doesn't throw many pitches, the team won't want him back even if he can come back. Wouldn't shock me if Lester threw an inning, but almost certainly not more than that. Koji may throw six. (Matthew Kory)
2013-10-28 18:00:00 (link to chat)Do you know of any intriguing Asian players headed over next year? And how do you rank some of the Japaense pitchers who surprised this year, guys like Uehara and Iwakuma?
(japanaese ice from northern california)
Masahiro Tanaka is the guy everyone is talking about. The 24-year-old pitcher (he'll be 25 in 2014) throws mid 90s heat, has solid secondary offerings and has dominated in Japan. He's closer to Yu Darvish than Daisuke Matsuzaka, and could be a top pitcher next year.

Koji Uehara is one of the best closers in the game. His stuff is legit and he has always been hard to hit, even as a non-closer prior to 2013. Iwakuma is another pitcher who really shouldn't have been as much of a surprise as he was. Most of his struggles came in 2012 as a relief arm; he has dominated as a starter ever since 2012. Iwakuma should be a Top 25-30 pitcher even if he slips a little in 2014. He's really good, and his ability to pitch 200+ innings is the only thing I'm wondering about. (Mike Gianella)
2013-09-17 13:00:00 (link to chat)Have you been able to figure out what makes Koji Uehara so effective?
(a-nathan from Champaign)
I think it's (a) his velocity crept back up the past few years and (b) he's now throwing splitters as much or more than fastballs which is quite nasty. (Harry Pavlidis)
2012-12-20 14:00:00 (link to chat)Lindbergh and miller talked about their favorite/least favorites moves on the podcast the other day. Your favorite/least favorite offseason move?
(Roberto from jury duty (fml))
Glad I could make jury duty go by a little faster, Roberto - and I've got my own appearance to look forward to not long from now.

If we count extensions, I wasn't a fan of the Brandon League move for the Dodgers; if we limit this to free-agent signings, relative to some of the deals handed out since, the three-year, $25 million hitch the Royals gave Jeremy Guthrie seems a little out of place. Specifically, I liked the one-year, $6 million deal for Scott Feldman and the two-year, $15.5 million deal for Brandon McCarthy. And from a bullpen standpoint, one year and $4.25 million for Koji Uehara looks good.

To just choose two, I'll take League and Feldman. (Daniel Rathman)
2012-05-04 13:00:00 (link to chat)Best bullpen in baseball?
(Takahashi from Salt Lake)
A year ago, remember how bad the Rangers' bullpen was? It was their big weakness and it was going to bring them down and it would never survive a hot summer in Arlington. And now they have converted their closer to a starter and they still have a) Koji Uehara working mop-up innings! This is incredible to me. Isn't Koji Uehara one of the, oh, 20 best relievers in baseball? Maybe 15? And he is their sixth- or seventh man. He came in to the ninth inning down by six the other day. That's just his role! 2) They have Mark Lowe, who would be the easy answer to the Astros' closer question above if he were on the Astros, who hasn't pitched a game in even average leverage all year. The highest ALi he has this year is 0.49, which is ahead by five runs in the seventh inning. 3) They have the best bullpen in baseball. It's probably close, but I really want to be definitive, so I'm going to add "and it's not even close." (Sam Miller)
2011-09-26 13:00:00 (link to chat)Based on pure stuff/dominance/command (whatever strikes you), which pitchers are you most looking forward to watching this postseason?
(Lucas Apostoleris from Amherst, MA)
Kenley Jansen is the guy that has piqued my interest most recently, but I'll have all offseason to look at him, I suppose.

Of the pitchers who look playoff-bound, Craig Kimbrel is just amazing. I'm curious about Verlander's BABIP this year. Doug Fister is an interesting story. I've wanted to look at Alexi Ogando's switch to the rotation. Koji Uehara fascinates me, with his splitter and high flyball/popup rate. Josh Collmenter and Ian Kennedy are interesting.

Of course there's no way I'll end up analyzing all or even most of those guys, but those are a few names who grab my attention. (Mike Fast)
2011-07-21 13:00:00 (link to chat)How much do you think getting bullpen help would help the Angels make the post-season this year? They've already said they don't want to pay for the top-tier guys like Adams or Bell. What other relievers are out there that might make a difference? Koji Uehara?
(Dennis from LA)
Uehara or maybe Jim Johnson. I mean, there are about 424 available right handed relievers, and most of those are second tier guys. Thing about relievers is, let's say you get a Chad Qualls. Qualls could go out for 20IP and give up 2ER or Give up 14ER. It's too tough to predict with the less than elite players, of which there are very few. So, you bring in someone(s) with good stuff who's pitching well & you cross your fingers and pray. (Mike Ferrin)
2011-04-25 13:00:00 (link to chat)Will Koji Uehara ever become a reliable source of saves now that he is the favorite? ALso, what are your thoughts on Edwin Jackson?
(Charles Darwin from San Fran)
As Mike Petriello has said, as long as Uehera is healthy, he should be great in the role. I'm a big fan of Koji--I drafted him in a few leagues with the expectation the job would eventually be his.

As for Jackson, I have an article in the works looking at him and how he is changed (if at all) since coming to Chicago. (Marc Normandin)
2010-12-02 13:00:00 (link to chat)most interesting FA SP still out there for someone like Pitt, Nats, etc?
(frank from vegas)
A couple questions out there like this, and I have to apologize and say I don't really have a great answer. My default answer was Jason Frasor, but he accepted arbitration. I like Koji Uehara, and Jenks (if he's non-tendered -- haven't heard much about that lately, so Sox fans in the know feel free to inform me) is probably a good bet. (Ken Funck)
2010-03-18 14:00:00 (link to chat)Reports are that Koji Uehara is pitching well this spring. Last year he didn't hold up physically as a starting pitcher. Is there any reason to believe he will hold up better in the bullpen?
(TGisriel from Baltimore)
Well, that's the hope. Frankly, the Orioles are keeping their fingers crossed about Uehara's health. (John Perrotto)
2009-09-10 13:00:00 (link to chat)Thank you for answering my earlier question. Looks like Koji Uehara is back with the team, though he's apparently not game-ready yet. How concerning is it to have a partial tear of the flexor tendon in your pitching elbow, and what is his prognosis for next year? Can he resume starting?
(Sumi from Monterey Park)
It's bad, plus he has a history of shoulder problems. The O's will use him as a reliever going forward. (Will Carroll)


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