There may be things in this world that you can't count on, but there are a great deal of things that you can. You can count on the sun setting and rising everyday, the tides ebbing and flowing, birds flying south for the winter, and the Red Soxhaving pitching woes. Yes, it seems that the curse Buchholz has placed on the team (following his banishment to the waiting room from Beetlejuice) has struck again as 41-year old Koji Uehara left last night's game after seven pitches with what appears to be a pectoral strain.
In an interview with the Japan Times, Uehara reported, “From around the fourth pitch to [Brandon] Belt, I felt muscle pain that was a little more intense than usual. If it gets any worse than this, that’s a problem. I think it will likely be OK. I’ve felt some stiffness since the All-Star break." But what impact could a DL-stint for Koji have on the Red Sox?
For one, Dave Dombrowski may have to make another trade. Junichi Tazawa is slated to return from the DL this coming Friday (pending final evaluation today), but should the Red Sox bank on him for solid outings for the remainder of the season? The Magic 8-ball on my desk tells me "Outlook not so good." Well played, Magic 8 Ball...well, played. The truth is, Taz has been less than stellar when asked to carry too much of a workload. Without bringing up too many painful memories of last season, I will just casually remind you of his 7.08 ERA in 22 outings and move on. It will also go without saying that expecting Taz to stay healthy for the remainder of the season is another long shot. Reason number one, as to why Dombrowski needs to be looking for more assistance in the pen.
The acquisition of Brad Ziegler from the Arizona Diamondbacks for basically a bucket of balls and a year's supply of sunflower seeds (not really, but I'm not that far off) could be helpful if Koji misses time. Ziegler, who has posted 18 saves for the Diamondbacks, could and would most likely move into Uehara's role, if he needs to rest.
Lastly, there is some good news on the horizon in that Joe Kelly may return to the within the week. This past Monday, the right-hander threw another scoreless inning in Triple-A Pawtucket. Manager John Farrell commented on Kelly earlier in the week by stating, "As far as him moving to the bullpen, that is going as we could have hoped."
Speaking of bullpen, I feel it necessary to comment about the fact that Clay Buchholz is sitting there. Yes, literally just sitting there and even with all of these pitching woes, his name has not come up. It is almost like he pooped and peed on the carpet and has been banished to his pen for being a bad boy. Look, you, my faithful readers and Twitter followers know that I am NOT a Buchholz fan and giving him any opportunity at this point would be like putting a Gremlin in charge of a 747 full of passengers, but it goes without saying that he is a spot on a roster that is being wasted. Is this the end for Buchholz? Let's pray to the frozen head of Teddy Ballgame and hope that it is and Dom can make another seed trade and excise the cancer known as Clay from the face of this organization.
In the meantime, let's hope that this DL stint, if any, for Koji is brief. I have to give the man credit. He and I are the same age, and after 36 years of softball and MMA fighting, I sometimes can't even get out of bed in the morning without assistance and sounding like a bowl of Rice Krispies. Get well soon, Koji. Red Sox Nation loves their #KojiTime.